Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Optimistic or Pessimistic?

The last three Games produced a medal each with tennis star Leander Paes winning a bronze at Atlanta, women’s weightlifter Karnam Malleswari a bronze in Sydney and shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore a silver at Athens.

“No one gave them a chance, but they proved everyone wrong,” said Singh, who also serves as the secretary-general of the Olympic Council of Asia.

“There is no reason to be pessimistic.”

I recently saw this article and cannot undestand how we should not be pessimistic unless one accepts that a solitary medal every Olympics is every reason to be optimistic. With the current trend, we may hope for a 2-medal Olympics in another 20 years or definitely before the population reaches two billion. That recent medalists exceeded expectations is a credit to them and not to the sporting body. So many countries, much smaller and financially weaker than India will rank higher in the medal tally, but lets be optimistic. I am generally a half-glass full kind of a person, but I don't even see the glass here for it to be full or empty :-)

It is noteworthy to mention that some people (Mittal, Geet Sethi, Prakash Padukone, etc.) have taken it on themselves to do something about this. It would be wonderful if folks like Sachin, Dhoni, Dravid participate in similar efforts to help other sports persons in India achieve their dreams and improve India's standing in the Olympics. Maybe major brands like Pepsi could sponsor stars from different sports and come up with some clever ways to share the screen with the cricketers.

So where are you vis-a-vis the optimism scale regarding India's efforts in the Olympics?


Viswanathan said...

Whatever be the infrastructure the drive of the sportsmen to a large extent is a contributory factor.

The current mindset of the athletes is that their performances is a means to land a government job.

Once our athletes start thinking of global recognition then we have every reason to be optimistic.

RS said...

You are right - their aspirations need to be outside "the safe option" But for athletes from non urban areas it is a bit like the chicken and the egg. Until they do well, they may not be aware of the global possibilities or how to use it to their advantage and until they are aware of the scope, they won't be able to maximize their potential.

straight point said...

though i agree...but its very easy to criticize their safety first attitude...

there is not even infrastructure... willingness...sponsor and vision for other sports to flourish...

and if we wont address to the insecurities of sportsmen/women... this will keep on happening...

on cricketers taking the initiative...where is the time gal...if they are not playing cricket they are busy 'endorsing'...or waiting outside doctor room for rehabilitation...

RS said...

sp: on cricketers - I am suggesting using some of their endorsing as well (but need companies support). Also I think folks like Sachin, Dravid already support charities albeit quietly - so it is just adding another dimension to that.

Anil Singh said...

The post reminds me of the book "Being Indian" by Pawan Verma.
The book talks about what actually means being Indian.
In simple it says something similar to what Ottayan has said.
To add, being Indian means climbing higher in class, status hierarchy.
Everyone wants higher position in this hierarchy.
An erudite student acquires education to get a secure job, people in higher education opt for comfortable job to the one in research.
A sportsperson has his/her eye on governmet job.
People who have most modern and scientific education are most superstitious, and sport remedial rings in all fingers.
We have gods to cater to our every whims and fancies, so that we can progress in the ladder.
rs is right that poor and less developed countries fare better than us, but many times they don't demand so much that we do, African countires run marathons. Sometimes bare feet in the beginning.As they are not preoccupied most of the times with hierarchy issues like we do.
Sorry SP but , i don't think we should demand that much, afterall we have many who can't afford a meal a day.This reminds me of a girl and a boy from Lucknow, who wanted government to provide them monetary support so that the can buy the equipment and have an nutritious meal. My only question is who told them to play tennis?

Can't they run

So if things are taken sportily, we can still be optimistic, afterall our country will take 100 people if not more to the games.

RS said...

I have not read that book - but I feel a larger part of the blame lies with the sports body and non-sports oriented Indian culture more so than the "safe" attitude.

The sports official statement not to be pessimistic is what set me off. If packaged well, I am sure other events will garner audiences as well (and slowly the attitude of athletes will improve, and get better competition). Maybe the commonwealth games in 2010 in India would help in this.