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Aug 30, 2016

Usain, Bolt your libido!

He is a champion, who has taken perfection on tracks to a level, which will take generations for any human to achieve. 

Now some questions, that may raise some eyebrows.

Is he a legend? Is he someone to whom children should look up? Is he a personality every mother would want her child to be like? Can he be an ambassador for humanity? Can we really idealize him as a role model? 

These questions are suddenly clouding the mind of people, his fans in particular, after Bolt was in headlines for:

1.     One night stand with a Brazilian student in Rio after making world record in 4*100 meter relay.
2.     For having South London girls for roucous party at his London hotel. 
3.     Handing out his Rio medals to girls who flashed their assets to him in London.

So, is Usain Bolt affected by Tiger Woods or Charlie Sheen syndrome? Well... the signs are evident, the testosterone that led to record-breaking feat on-tracks is now on the other record-breaking spree off the tracks. 

No wonder, Usain's off-field antics are bolt out of the blue for his fans and family. His sister Christine and his girlfriend Kasi are upset with his notorious captures. 

Family, friends & fans love Usain for what he has achieved but the problem begins when one thinks that they can get away with anything after these achievements. 
Sexcapades of sport stars like golf prodigy Tiger Woods, Brazilian soccer sensation Ronaldo, champion athlete Edvin Moses led to their fall from greatness.

Bolt is the greatest but is he a legend?  Only the greatest can triumph in three consecutive Olympics with 9 gold medals in the same three events but to be a legend requires a character that can digest success and set an example for the generations to follow and talk even after you are long gone.

Such are the traits of legends that greats like Sir Don Bradman, Jack Nicklaus, Michael Schumacher, Dhyan Chand are still remembered, revered and idolized. The present crop of sports icons like Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, Visawanathan Anand and few more have the groundings of a future legend.

It is Usain Bolt, who has to decide if he wants to fade away as being once the greatest or he wished to be a role model, whose name gets engraved in the list of legends.

Aug 29, 2016

Population of 1.25 billion & just 2 medals in Rio Olympics! India introspect!

With Yogeshwar Dutt being knocked out in the first round of 65 kgs freestyle wrestling, team India lost its hope of bringing home third medal from Rio Olympics. Yes; ironically we had high hopes for third medal for India from the Olympic 2016 from Yogeshwar Dutt, the other two medals brought in are silver by PV Sindhu for Badminton and bronze by Sakshi Malik for freestyle wrestling. 

What an irony! In Rio 2016, we have the largest ever delegation of 117 athletes and we could win only two medals. Now, compare this with countries like Iran; a delegation of 63 athletes won 8 medals including 3 gold medals, Thailand; a delegation of 55 athletes won 6 medals that include 2 gold medals, Azarbaijan; a delegation of 55 athletes won 18 medals, including 1 gold medal. 

Something that will take you by surprise is the stark difference in population count of these countries when compared to India. The combined population of Iran, Thailand and Azarbaijan is still lesser than that of Uttar Pradesh. The population of Azarbaijan is approx 9.5 million, which is far lesser than National Capital New Delhi. 

So the big question is why world's second most populous country with 1.25 billion people can produce meager 117 athletes of Olympic standard and these could only get 2 medals, that too with no gold.

Also, we need to introspect, why in last 116 years of India's Olympic journey, we have won just 28 medals with only 9 gold medals that too 8  golds in Hockey and only 1 in the individual event of shooting by Abhinav Bindra in 2008 Beijing Olympics. What can be inferred from these glaring statistics?

1.      Sports other than Cricket are not given much weightage as a career option by people because neither they appear financially lucrative nor glamorous as cricket.
2.      More than the government, it's the apathy of corporates & the wealthy individuals towards other sports that has to change. Imagine badminton coach P Gopichand had to mortgage his house to build his badminton academy in Hyderabad, which finally gave a silver & a bronze in badminton in two consecutive Olympics i.e in 2012 & 2016.
3.      At the grass root level schools and colleges lack the basic infrastructure that can encourage other sports, so even if someone is god-gifted with a natural talent then it gets crushed at the school level, itself.
4.      The concept of sports school or college is still not seen as an option in India's education system.
5.      In the last 116 years of our Olympic exposure, we have not been able to produce many Olympians of international class, therefore, we also lack coaches, who can nurture and groom the talent for the international level.
6.      Other than hockey, that too only till 1980, India has not done well in team events in Olympics and no wonder, this is a poor reflection of our esprit de corps.
7.      Finally... However, we may criticise Shobha De's comment on Twitter but as a country we only celebrate individual brilliance, rather than taking Olympics seriously . Hence, the popular lingo 'kaun sa Olympic mein medal jeetna hai' needs to vacate our mind. 

India has shown the globalised world that from information technology to beauty peagents, from cricket to yoga, we can be the world leaders and world beaters, so why not show the same spirit in Olympics? Olympics is a platform that has inspired generations, it is a sea that carries the waves of excellence of human spirit and endurance, so why shouldn't we be touched by it?

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