Vijay Goel’s latest gem: ‘Upgrades’ India’s Rio Olympics haul calling Sindhu, Sakshi gold medallists

Sports minister Vijay Goel spoke to mediapersons on Sunday, and referred to PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, silver and bronze medal winning athletes respectively at the Rio Olympics 2016, as 'gold medalists'

FP Sports August 29, 2016 15:06:42 IST
Vijay Goel’s latest gem: ‘Upgrades’ India’s Rio Olympics haul calling Sindhu, Sakshi gold medallists

Sports Minister Vijay Goel had a busy weekend. He met Bollywood 90s action hero Sunil Shetty, and took to social media platform Twitter to proclaim how they discussed "constructive steps for the encouragement and development of sports in India".

In fact, the meeting proved to be so constructive that by the time it ended, the one silver and one bronze medal that India had won at the Rio Olympics 2016 had been upgraded to two gold medals!

On his way back from the discussion, Goel spoke to mediapersons and referred to PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, silver and bronze medal winning athletes respectively, as "gold medalists".

But this is hardly the first time Goel has been in the news for the wrong reasons. This past month alone, when all eyes should have ideally been on India's athletes and their performances in Brazil, Goel, through a series of gaffes, foot-in-mouth moments and just plan misbehaviour, ensured he got his fair share of press.

He once tweeted out best wishes to runner Srabani Nanda, but sent it with an image of fellow Odisha athlete Dutee Chand. This, however, was one of his better moments. He also tweet wishing gymnast Dipa Karmakar, except he misspelt her name, calling the Tripura-based gymnast Dipa 'Karmanakar'. Oh, and he also sent it out with his own photo instead of Karmakar's.

But even this wasn't to be Goel's worst act as sports minister. He won that honour with his behaviour at Rio during the Games. His intrusive and high-handed behaviour at the Games Village, including attempts to enter accredited areas without proper accreditation, aggressive and rude demeanour with Olympic staff, and violation of Games protocol did not go down well with Olympic organisers, who even threatened to have Goel removed.

So, while considering his track record with foot-in-mouth moments, it is perhaps understandable how the honourable sports minister thought one silver and one bronze medal would add up to two gold medals, not everybody on Twitter were so forgiving. Goel was trolled instantly and mercilessly on social media.

Later in the day, stung by the criticism, Goel issued a statement, calling it all a "slip of tongue" and urging people to not make an issue out of it.

Sadly for Goel though, the issue had already been made.

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