Indian medallists in Tokyo Olymipics 2021
- Mirabai Chanu Silver Medal in Weight Lifting (Women’s 49kg)
- Indian Hockey Team Bronze Medal in Men’s Hockey tournament
- PV Sindhu Bronze Medal in Women’s Single Badminton
- Lovlina Borgohain Bronze Medal in Women’s Welterweight Boxing
- Ravi Kumar Dahiya Silver Medal in Men’s 57 kg Wrestling
- Bajrang Punia Bronze Medal in Men’s Freestyle 65kg
- Neeraj Chopra Gold Medal in Men’s Javelin Throw: 87.58 (First Gold Medalist from India in Olympics 2021)
India has won a single gold, 2 silvers and 4 bronzes in Tokyo Olympics 2021. But only if you are born and raised in India will you ever realize what a Himalayan feet even this is. Our poor stamina by genetics is main reason thanks to our food habits, for our below par sporting capabilities. Our make is small! Just look at the Czechs who won the bronze and silver in the Javelin throw. Look at the gold medalist Neeraj Chopra from India. Look at our Hockey girls. When they lost the bronze, I could see their physique despite rigorous training and practice and most definitely improvised dietary plans compared to their opponents. I don’t suppose strategy alone can do wonders. You need physical inputs more in the sporting arena. Even a voracious meat eating Indian cannot match the stamina of the sportspeople from other parts of the world whose daily dietary food habit may include red meat. Indians do not eat red meat by culture right from birth. Coaches may introduce meat and high calorie food at a later stage during training still, the very basic nutritious food is denied for aspiring Indian sportsmen and women hailing from rural India from a very young age. This works to our disadvantage in the long run. Looking at our women’s hockey, I felt bad for them. But they have come this far. Next time, there won’t be any stopping them.
Secondly the poverty of the country is well known. Most Olympic aspirants in India do not even own a good pair of shoes. Nor do they get to eat two square meals a day. They lack family support hailing from rural backgrounds mostly with parents for daily wage earners. For training, they have to walk by foot miles. They don’t have access to technology or food supplement or decent sports gear or good coaching or physical training. Very poor funding. No logistics to support them for their travel needs. Other countries subsidize their teams but in India, this just is not possible. All commercial sponsors in India eye the cricket teams, never those who play for India in Olympics or Asian games.
Nations import or buy out athletes and sports persons and teams and sports clubs to add golds and trophies to their kitties. India does not. Every single Indian sports player is born and brought up in India under extraordinary circumstances. On the contrary, Indian hockey players have played for Malaysia in the past.
*Inspiring story of Rani Rampal, Capt Indian Women’s HockeyTeam*: “I wanted an escape from my life; from the electricity shortages, to the mosquitoes buzzing in our ear when we slept, from barely having two square meals to seeing our home getting flooded when it rained. My parents tried their best, but there was only so much they could do–Papa was a cart puller and Maa worked as a maid.There was a hockey academy near my home, so I’d spend hours watching players practice–I really wanted to play. Papa would earn Rs.80 a day and couldn’t afford to buy me a stick. Everyday, I’d ask the coach to teach me too. He’d reject me because I was malnourished. He’d say, ‘You aren’t strong enough to pull through a practice session.’ So, I found a broken hockey stick on the field and began practicing with that– I didn’t have training clothes, so I was running around in a salwar kameez. But I was determined to prove myself. I begged the coach for a chance– maine bahut mushkil se convince kiya unko finally!But when I told my family, they said, ‘Ladkiya ghar ka kaam hi karti hai,’ and ‘Hum tumhe skirt pehen kar khelne nahi denge.’ I’d plead with them saying, ‘Please mujhe jaane do. If I fail, I’ll do whatever you want.’ My family reluctantly gave in. Training would start early in the morning. We didn’t even have a clock, so mom would stay up and look at the sky to check if it was the right time to wake me. At the academy, it was mandatory for each player to bring 500 ml of milk. My family could only afford milk worth 200 ml; without telling anyone, I’d mix the milk with water and drink it because I wanted to play.My coach supported me through thick and thin; he’d buy me hockey kits and shoes. He even allowed me to live with his family and took care of my dietary needs. I’d train hard and wouldn’t miss a single day of practice. I remember earning my first salary; I won Rs.500 after winning a tournament and gave the money to Papa. He hadn’t ever held so much money in his hands before. I promised my family, ‘One day, we’re going to have our own home’; I did everything in my power to work towards that.After representing my state and playing in several championships, I finally got a national call up at the age of 15! Still, my relatives would only ask me when I was planning on getting married. But Papa told me, ‘Play until your heart’s content.’ With my family’s support, I focused on doing my best for India and eventually, I became captain of the Indian hockey team! Soon after, while I was at home, a friend papa used to work with visited us. He brought along his granddaughter and told me, ‘She’s inspired by you and wants to become a hockey player!’ I was so happy; I just started crying.And then in 2017, I finally fulfilled the promise I made to my family and bought them a home. We cried together and held each other tightly! And I’m not done yet; this year, I’m determined to repay them and Coach with something they’ve always dreamed of– a gold medal from Tokyo.”A story behind do many athletes…we often wonder why we don’t win medals in Olympics … I am proud that they made it to Olympics despite the adversity… this is today’s India… aspirational, confident and will to fight adversity and excel… hats off to them…hope they get the encouragement and support for the future too….
The rest of the stories are here:
Hearing the Indian national anthem play gives you goosebumps! Grateful for these medal winners from the Tokyo Olympics who have done the nation proud. Those who have no medal to show – it is still fine. You have had the honour of representing this 1.3 billion nation which is something. I did expect a gold from PV Sindhu but we have to remember that she is also ageing. Still fine Sindhu, I didn’t mean like complaining. Absolutely no regrets. Indebted to these ambassadors of peace from India who showed us, yes we still can. With all our misgivings and self-doubts and weaknesses and vulnerabilities and negatives and lacking any and every sophisticated sporting equipment/first class training/physical fitness/red meat on our plate, we Indians still can!
Jai Hind! Thank you brothers and sisters for instilling valuable self-confidence and slef-esteem in young Indians who need to believe in themselves first. Every barrier between you to victory is there to be broken.