Monday, August 11, 2008
India's First Individual Gold Medal at the Olympics
Pic: Courtesy Getty Images
Abhinav Bindra makes India proud by winning the the first individual gold medal for 10 meters rifle shooting. Bindra at the age of 25 has not only created an Olympian achievement for himself, but has also set the standards for a generation that can now dare to hope for achievement more strongly. While India has scraped 8 gold medals for field hockey, Bindra was the first Indian to win his country an individual gold medal.
At the inaugral ceremonies of the Olympics on Friday, Indian athletes walked in their sharwani clothes acknowledging the cheers from the audience. The announcer was saying how India whose population has exceeded China has won only less than 10 medals during the past years, while China has not only amazed the world by putting up such a spectacular opening of the 2008 Summer Oylmpics, but also proudly competes with the US in almost every sport and rivals its medal tally. As you can see, China has thoroughly trained and prepared well for this event. Their hardwork and the pride with which they are hosting this event shows through.
Sports and athletics in India lack the importance that is given to it unlike in some other countries. This is because from a young age, when children start playing or spend too much time outdoors playing, not all parents encourage or welcome it. Most of them reprimand their kids and ask them to quit playing and focus on studying and getting good grades. As a result, there are fewer number of Leander Pears, Mahesh Bhoopathy, Prakash Padkone, Narain Karthikeyan and Abhinav Bindra's created. So, how can we complain that India sends lesser number of athletes to compete at the Olympic level? Also, sports such as shooting, tennis etc. are all considered affluent people's sports and yes, require spending lots of money to get a professional trainer/coach, getting the required gear, equipment, etc. Also, do we have the Bill Bellicheck, Phil Jackson like pro-coaches and trainers to mould our athletes, even if we have such talent, could we afford to pay them to keep them. With so many cons on our side, we can hardly hope for better performances at the Olympics.
But, with Abhinav Bindra's victory in shooting, there is some hope for the athletically inclined Indian youngsters to dream big and draw inspiration to work towards those lofty goals.
Bindra makes one and every Indian proud and happy with his individual achievement.