The Olympics 2016 held in Rio, Brazil finally came to an end with brilliant performances from athletes all over the world. Rio Olympics may have ended, but this is just the beginning of sports in India. We may have finished on the 67th position, but this Rio 2016 was way more important than you think. In a country where the sports sector is highly dominated by cricket, other sports are not given that much importance. Despite the limited opportunities and appreciation, India sent 117 athletes to participate in the competitions. Many Indian athletes gave brilliant performances, making us all proud of their accomplishments and hard work.
Dipa Karmakar, a 23 year old artistic gymnast broke boundaries even before attaining the 4th position in the Women’s Vault Gymnastics. She is the first Indian female gymnast to participate in the Olympics and also, the first gymnast to participate in 52 years. She was the only participant representing India in Gymnastics, and how she completely mesmerized us with her performance! The entire nation watched her vault hoping for a medal, but her achievement was far more than that. To be able to get a billion people hooked to the screen for a sport that is not cricket is the biggest achievement Dipa could ever get, and we cannot thank her enough for it.
Sakshi Malik, a real life Sultan born in Rohtak, Haryana made her way to the prestigious Bronze Medal in the 58 kg Women’s Wrestling. The first female wrestler to get a medal in the Olympics, Sakshi showed us all how, if given the opportunity, the woman of this country can outshine men in a sport that is regarded as a “man’s sport”. Her achievement in an international platform like Olympics is not only making us all proud, but also a very inspiring one. More power to you, Sakshi!
P V Sindhu, India’s badminton superstar clinched the Silver Medal in badminton singles women, losing against Carolina Marin who was absolutely slayed during the game. Sindhu put up a tough fight, winning the first set, however the following two sets were won by Marin. Nevertheless, Sindhu was an epitome of composure and sportsmanship during the whole game.
The Summer Olympics may have ended, but this is just the beginning of sports in India. Each and every athlete performing in the Olympics tried to convey a message to us, that there is a world beyond Cricket, and that we need to start appreciating and paying attention to other sports too.
OP Jaisha, an Indian marathon runner ran for the collapsed at the finish line due to dehydration. She claimed that while the other country officials were present at regular intervals to provide their runners with biscuits and water, our country’s desk was empty. This is not only an utter disregard for sports persons, but also shows exactly how messed up the situation is. If the officials themselves are not going to do their duty, how can we even expect the participants to get gold and silver medals? Like we haven’t done enough already by providing them with limited opportunities and recognition.
P V Sindhu’s victory led to two states fighting to claim her. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been keeping themselves busy by coming up with new ideas to reward Sindhu’s performance. Providing cash rewards in crores, giving government jobs and also promising a “better” coach to Sindhu for Tokyo Olympics 2020, both states have been trying to prove that Sindhu belongs to them. Instead of trying to insulting a truly capable coach like Gopichand, they must try to increase the opportunities in their state, focusing on giving importance to sports so that more are more people take it up at an early age. Because after all, Sindhu will be representing “India” and not “Telangana” or “Andhra Pradesh”.
We’d like to thank each and every athlete in their contribution towards sports in India. You have all started a new era, where, finally after all these years, India hopefully has a better future in sports. Kudos to all of you for being the solo driving force behind all this, especially the women who are a message for everyone who believes women should just cook and stay home. We’re all far more than that.