Thursday, March 1, 2012

India's Olympic Champs

The country is rejoicing on the qualification of Indian Hockey team for the Olympics after a gap of 8 years. Hockey has given us, as a country, the most occasions to follow & celebrate the Olympics. There have been other performances, individual & team, that have cheered us over the years. London 2012 would bring alive more such stories.

However, the unsung hero of India's Olympic Story is the Indian Olympic Association. The IOA has been religiously participating in each & every games irrespective of the prevailing political & economic environment. The hockey team missed the 2008 games, but not our officials. They were very much there, keeping our flag flying.

And they are somewhere near the top, if not at the top, if the metric is no. of officials per sportsperson or even the no of officials per medal won. In fact, it goes to the credit of the global sports official fraternity that they award medals only to sportspersons! Despite all the efforts the officials do to make the games a success.

Before departing for the games, the sportspersons get to meet & be photographed with the President & PM. Would this ever be possible, if the contingent does not include the sports officials? While the sportspersons are busy practicing in their camps, it is the officials who do all the running around & manage appointment with the country's leaders.

One is not grudging the sportsmen their glory. But the guts & grit displayed by the sports authorities should be equally appreciated. It was the single-minded focus of the organisers that made the Commonwealth Games possible. When the entire country was clamoring for their heads, they managed to keep their heads on their shoulders & eyes focused on their Goal. And they did achieve it, unfortunately (for them) this objective was discovered.

The authorities also possess the highest professional ethics. When the Indian cricket team loses a few series, the differences within the team are put up for all the world to see. But the selectors & the administrators have never been known to debate in the public domain. All discussions are capped at the meeting & the public sees a united face. This despite the fact that most of the officials across different sports bodies have conflicting political affiliations.

They also beat the sportsmen in terms of fitness & longevity. Sachin has been trying to hit his hundredth century for too long, in vain. Even the great Kapil Dev reached his landmark only after Kumble consistently bowled wide outside the off stump. But not the officials. At an age when most sportsmen would find it difficult to execute a straight drive or hit a penalty corner, the officials are healthy enough to occupy their chair & represent the country at the Olympics.

As a protest against Dow Chemical being the sponsor of the Olympics despite it being linked to the Bhopal gas tragedy, the Indian government is considering boycott of the opening & closing ceremonies of the games ( But our sports administrators would be there in full strength along with the sportsmen. While the sports people have spent the last 4 years for this, the officials have spent a lifetime! No one deserves to participate in the Olympics more, for they are our true Olympic Champs! So what if there are no medals for the oldest, the longest ruling or the most ignorant sports administrators?

1 comment:

  1. A different perspective for the officials who work hard for all these matters, but somehow i just feel its just a few officials or people who are really working hard, but the rest of them are making their money through sports. Just an opinion!!!


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