Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Olympic Dream

Hello Friends,

A day before the 30th Summer Olympics are launched that would see a record number of countries and athletes contest , I would like to reflect on what I would like to see achieved over the next couple of weeks.

Olympics - A Symbol Of What Is Possible !

Olympics as an event has grown in stature and size from a mere 17 countries participating in the first Modern Olympics of 1896 in Athens. Now, it has come to symbolize the very essence of human triumph against the physical/mental barriers we have set for ourselves. On the other side, it has become to mean huge economic investments for the host nation that would reap the rewards through Economic growth (Greece seems to be an exception so far), Tourism and Cultural exchanges that might positively impact the society at large.

What I would like to see

We all have our favorite Olympic moments ranging from Jesse Owens silencing Hitler with his performance, Nadia Com─âneci with her perfect 10, Bubka burying his Olympic jinx, Bolt's celebration after 100 and 200m victories and so on. All these have epitomized human endurance limits and have pushed the boundaries of impossible much further. Below are my wish list for this Olympics :

 
Oscar Pistorius - An Inspiration for everyone !
  • Sub 9 second sprint of 100 metres
  • 10 metre long jump
  • Oscar Pistorius, ("Blade Runner") the first Double-Amputee winning a medal in 400 m in the able bodied competition
  • India winning a medal in Hockey after 32 years
  • Michael Phelps doing a repeat of 8 gold medal


 Indian Expectations

From an Indian perspective, I do believe that there is a lot of optimism in the air as always. With the media coverage, sports like boxing, wrestling, archery are getting their fair share of air waves and the sportsmen do feel recognized like never before.

Here are my medal hopefuls for India:

1. Deepika Kumari in Archery
Deepika - A small town girl might bring us back Olympic Glory
2. Mary Kom in Boxing
3. Saina Nehwal in Badminton
4. Leander Paes and Sania Mirza in Tennis (not withstanding the ill-will)
5. Vijender Singh in Boxing
6. Sushil Kumar in Wrestling
7. Gagan Narang and/or Abhinav Bindra in Shooting
8. Indian Hockey Team


Bindra - The Man With The Golden Finger !

For decades Indians have been poor competitors and believed strongly in Pierre de Coubertin's   theory of "participation being
more important than winning". We have had many near misses and heart burns like Milkha Singh in 1960 and PT Usha in 1984. Since Atlanta 1996 when Leander gave us our first medal in decades, we made steady progress and reached the gold with Abhinav breaking the mental blocks of under-achievement. The new age Indian athletes are blessed with immense self-belief and "I can" attitude and along with better infrastructure (though archaic compared to giants like China, US and Europe) do make us feel that they have it in them to win and not just compete.

I am sticking my neck out and my prediction for this Indian contingent is to win 5 medals across the disciplines I mentioned. I hope my prediction is wrong on the lower side and we win much more. What are your predictions ?

Here's wishing the Indian Olympic Team all the success and saluting the spirit that they represent of fighting against all odds in a "non-sportive" ( read non-cricket ) country like India.

Cheers

Pavan

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