In a very different world, the Olympics was all about competing at the highest level. Winning wasn’t really part of the agenda. But all that has changed — to stand in the world of sports, you need to win not just medals but preferably the golden ones.
So when you talk of the Olympics, India’s show was pretty ordinary. Yes, our sportsmen succeed despite the system but not enough of them are succeeding.
“I wouldn’t be elated but I won’t be dismayed. My count was 7 medals but we got 6. But I wish there was a gold somewhere. It is an improvement but I wouldn’t call it a quantam leap. If you don’t have a gold medal to show, then something is lacking,” said senior sports writer Ayaz Memon, who was in London to cover the event.
And being at the Olympics allowed Ayaz to observe just how the other countries go about their quest and how it might to used to further India’s cause.
“For starters, we need to switch out attention from hockey. It’s been 32 years since we last won a medal in the sport and which is why our hopes of winning a medal must be pretty low. Rather, we should focus on sports where we have a realistic chance of medalling. Archery (even though we had failures at London), boxing, shooting have to be sports that we focus on,” said Ayaz.
“The other thing we have to do is makes sports compulsory in schools. Every student has to play sports — even if you are not good at it, you have to attempt it. And more women have to play sports — we had two medallists who were women and for countries like USA and China — the women bring in their share of medals. India cannot succeed by excluding 50 per cent of it’s population,” he said.
Watch the entire discussion between Sports Editor Ashish Magotra and Ayaz Memon above.