Ad Here  
August
September
October
November
December
January
 
 
PM Watch The fight along the border Modi sells a Dream? End of the world and the moving finger... Why we get a compromised deal The other side of the Olympic divide Of discrimination and rights Culture of suave, gentle and British becoming extinct... RaGa bowls a decent over Bleeding Blue Psephologists fail the wisdom of crowds Lovely Banking experience Of mercy petition and mercy killing Waylaid on the National Highway The wily old fox The death of cash Two leaves merged? The broken window Noise on Social Networks Sehwag...No soft edges A judgment that shocked a nation’s conscience the lost generation... The right to reject Walking into the sunset A ride around the city The future is here Cracking the CA code The car dealer and the cabbie stories… Flight into danger A troubled fortnight The return of the muffler man 500/500 People vs. Collins Greater than the greatest ? The flawed “Pakistan policy” The KING is a fugitive Two more for Modi Resolving disputes: Scotland, Ajit, Dhoni Rajiv killers escape the gallows Privatise the Railways The curious case of the missing maid From Gungi Gudiya to Iron Lady Odd-Even Plan What a judgment Sir-ji Being taken for a ride Throwing ink is fine WAR-MONGERING and a national pastime Editor unplugged The case of the suspicious husband Britain lobs a bomb. But it won’t explode. Nitish swords Modi FITTING farewell Educational shame Brick gets pricked The loser is … CRICKET
 
The other side of the Olympic divide

What sets the adrenalin flowing? Not religion, not war, not politics, but sports it is that gets the juices out.

My earliest memory of the Olympics is the cover story in the Illustrated Weekly of India in the autumn of 1976.  It read, “600 Million Indians—Not One Bronze!”  Today that population has doubled. Luckily we haven’t returned from the Rio Olympics empty handed. Silver and bronze are the counts, and thousands of ‘patriots’ are gung-ho about it.  

Therein perhaps lies the reason why don't do well at the greatest sports show on earth: the readiness to accept being an underachiever as the norm.  Not just in sports but in life as well.  

While we have rightfully given the top performers a rock star’s welcome and showered them with gifts, it is time we genuinely looked at what’s wrong.  A tiny country like Jamaica produces speedsters on an assembly line. A Phelps has as much, if not more medals, than what India has in the Olympics. It hurts.

I don't think that the players are to blame though some of them are hardcore professionals who have cut their grade in international circuit and should have done infinitely better. I am not pointing an accusing finger at anybody, but when you stretch the rules to let an ageing superstar play when the man who has rightfully qualified doesn't want to partner him, you realise that our priorities are wrong.  

I also don't buy this business of the spirit of the game is just to participate. That was all right so long as the game was meant for amateurs and the players had a different occupation or profession. Today, most of these sportspersons earn their living out of the game. They practise long hours. Also, no one wants to play to lose. So let’s get this straight: we must play only to win.

There is this dumb crap that sports doesn't pay and that our parents push our children to study than to play.  First, sports does pay. Some of our cricketers are stinking rich thanks to the game. Ask Saina Nehwal, Leander Paes and

Sania Mirza and now P V Sindhu.  Also, the world over only sportsmen who have struck it big laugh their way to the bank. If the charge is against the parents and their propensity to spend on studies, then logically we should have by now produced hundreds of Nobel Prize winners.


The trouble is we are argumentative

In a sense, money spends and prizes won, are a chicken and egg story. Aren’t our cricketers world beaters?  Did the money come first, or did the world beating come first? We grudge our movie stars their money. Behind every prize money and handclaps,  are thousands of hours of hard work. The trouble is that, as a nation, we are argumentative. Watch how we instantly troll even well-meaning people.

Personally, I think it is the chaltha hai attitude that hurts. This is true not just in sports but in real life as well. The son doesn't do well in academics, and dad says, “it's okay; after all, Sachin Tendulkar was no great scholar.”  I agree we need to be positive, but positivity has to come with corrective action.  

One way out is to create the infrastructure across the country in respect of the games that we think we have the competence to win. We must identify a talent pool and let corporate entrepreneurs manage it backed by coaches who have played the game. If a Gopichand can help produce two world-beaters by working in isolation, imagine what would happen if we worked with concerted action! The political class should be shown the door. There is no need to pamper officials while the real champions suck it out.

Victory at the Olympics will feed our hunger to perform better. And that will set the ball rolling. We need to spread the word. We need to ensure like the army does, that the athletes also at that time get appropriate education.  

In short, how about  ‘sports’ as a college degree?

 

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
RELATED NEWS
ABOUT IE
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
 
PRIVACY POLICY
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
 
CONTACT US
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Guindy,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236
EMAIL: indecom1968@gmail.com