While India has come a long way from a lone athlete participation in 1900 to an 83-member contingent in 2012, our medal tally remains abysmally low.
India is the ninth largest economy, has the second largest population, is the biggest democracy and is amongst the oldest nations in history. Despite being a regular participant since 1900, the total medal tally is still in the 20’s.
While most say juxtaposing our 24 medals with the 2500 medals won by USA might be unfair given the economic consideration, but it is it is noteworthy that poorer countries like North Korea, Ethiopia and Kenya regularly outperform India.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics India had the lowest ratio of medals-won to population of any competing country: one medal per 383 million Indians.
Thus there is no consensus, no obvious explanation, no single unified theory explaining India’s continued underperformance in the Olympics.
We may blame the government for the lack of a China-like campaign galvanizing national talent; the federations for their lackadaisical approach; the larger Indian community for not giving its kids a shot at athletic glory; or even the athletes for lacking desire to achieve the intoxicating combination of nation pride and personal fulfillment, but the fact of the matter is that while being proud of Mary Kom and the others, 24 medals over 112 years is a shameful figure. We can’t have a handful of sportspersons shouldering the whole nations Olympic hopes and dreams.
It isn’t just the Shiv Sena fervently opposing the celebrations of Mother’s, Father’s, Friendship’s and Valentines day, they aren’t only the Islamic fanatics inundating the internet with Facebook posts and videos boycotting these “west-morphed traditions”, but astonishingly a whole new class of people around me declaring their necessity void.
While I’ve outgrown tying Friendship’s bands, or making cards on Grandparents day, I still can’t warp my head around the fact that what the very essence of what we looked forward to as kids is lost. Don’t pass them of by products of Archies and Hallmark-the Retailers of Emotions, as they are often called, but take it as an opportunity to message a friend you’ve been longing to text, but didn’t know how to begin; grandparents whom you know you don’t call as often as you ought to; or just celebrate love, not hate, in what ever way – like the Pakistan Youth Alliance, who rally to show their love for Pakistan on 14th February.
Olympics Get “A Taste Of India”
Amul is known to be extremely prompt with their ad campaign, never missing out on a contemporary issue. Unfailingly, Amul covered the Olympics with equal fervor.
1. The Sponsors of the Indian Olympic team, Amul has wished the Indian team to target gold medals. The Ad reads ‘On Your Maska, Get Set! Gold
2. Amul has never shied away from taking on political controversies either. The Suresh Kalmadi- Ajay Maken Olympic issue being another one-
3. Amul on the brouhaha about the “Mystery Woman” in red, who marched with the Indian team during the London Olympics opening ceremony, along side Sushil Kumar-
4. Amul congratulating shooter Gagan Narang who became India’s first Olympics medalist at the 2012 Games-
5. Their latest ad is dedicated to MC Mary Kom, India’s first woman boxer to win an Olympic medal. Mary Kom won a bronze medal at the London Olympics in the 51-kg category and won a billion hearts.