London Olympics in an Indian’s point of view


It had been an incredible feeling, living in London during this Olympics. It was indeed a privilege to witness Londn2012 Olympics happening in my neighbourhood.

But the atmosphere was not so welcoming before the Games. Cynicism clouded over the city. Some of the Londoners even flew out for holidays, to avoid the extra pressure they feared. You believe it or not, even the British Airways came out with an advertisement saying, 'don't fly, support Team GB'.

In spite of all the negativity, London welcomed the participants from across the world. Athletes from 204 countries landed in here to showcase their best in their respective events - came along their coaches, family members, support groups and fans as well.

It was literally ‘world under one roof’. All streets were redecorated, underground stations and bus stations had new signposts and shopping malls were set to lure in global customers. The collective effort of more than 70,000 volunteers, sponsors, politicians, business firms and humanitarian organisations went into the preparations.

Then the Games began and those 17 days were full of life. You walk into any restaurant, any park or any home in London you could see people glued onto the TV screen cheering for their country's athletes. They shouted and screamed when their favourite athletes loped towards the finish line.

My British friends were rooting for Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Chris Hoy; I could see tears running down their cheeks – tears of joy and of pride. I felt special too witnessing it.

When I visited the Olympic venues, I felt I was watching history in the making. The feeling of belongingness was beyond words.

However, I was always looking forward to see my country fellows competing. I shouted (cheerfully) at them when I saw them represent our great nation – India. Being an Indian, I was proud. Nevertheless, I was waiting for that moment when I could hear the Indian National Anthem being played in this Olympics. Each and every time an Indian Athlete made progress, I dreamt of them winning the Gold and our National Flag being hoisted. I hoped to feel that joy of moment.

It was amazing to see 80,000 people standing up on their feet inside the Olympic stadium roaring for Jessica Ennis when she crossed the finish line and brought gold in Heptathlon for Team GB. Each and every British were screaming with pure joy. Many broke down as Jessica busted out into tears holding the gold medal.

I wanted to feel that spirit of joy and longed for an Indian Gold medal. I waited till the last day of Olympics for it. But that dream did not come true.

Though disappointed, I am proud and happy for all the Indian athletes, who came over to London and took part in the Games. Special congratulations to the Team India medal winners – Vijay Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal, Gagan Narang and Yogeshwar Dutt.

Now that the Olympics is over, I wonder why Indians failed to win a Gold. It's true that some of our athletes showcased some great performances and hence we won those six medals. But considering the potential that rests in India, any one could see that we did not do our best in London 2012. We were ranked 55th – much behind many small countries.

We know that Indians are appreciated for its young human resource around the world. But our athletes are pushed down on a global event like this. Don't get me wrong; I am not underestimating the talent of the Athletes who competed in London2012. However, in venues like this, talents should go hand in hand with mental preparation. I am not an expert, but I don’t think our athletes were motivated enough to play against the international opponents.

One last thought about our all-time 'enemy'- corruption. Is corruption playing a role in not providing the needful equipments and assistance for our athletes? We are the second largest country in the world with its population. I am sure that there are talented young boys and girls in India’s villages, who are smart enough to be part of Indian Olympic team.

We all may say that, 'without investment there is no profit'. But 'are we investing' is the question. Are we investing in the form of encouragement? Is the government ready to invest for money to raise great talents from the nation?

It is time that we should start enriching a sports culture among our children and youth. We should let the younger generation dream higher and help them achieve their dreams.

I hope that we could see more young talents representing India in Rio 2016 Olympics. Let the next 4 years be a season of training and equipping for our athletes to achieve heights. It will surely help us for a better show in Brazil.

The author is a Keralite, who has completed his MA in Integrative Psychotherapy from London School of Theology, and is currently working with Kids Company.

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