AIR Spotlight is an insightful programme featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panelists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, the topic of discussion is the Indian contingent for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Rakesh Rao and Harpal Singh Bedi, Sports journalists.
The Indian contingent is leaving for the Tokyo Olympics with lots of hopes and expectations with the whole country getting together in supporting the participants.
India in Olympics:
- India is a cricket-crazy country and during the time of the Olympics, Asian Games, or Commonwealth games, the mood of the nation changes a bit.
- In the Tokyo Olympics, India is being represented by a contingent of 124 participants of which 69 are men and 55 are women.
- Success in the Olympic games is seen in terms of medals won. In India, Olympics participants get focus only during Olympic games and are forgotten for the next four years.
- This time for the Tokyo Olympics, India is hopeful to increase the medal count based on the recent performance of participants.
- In 1996, Leander Paes won an Olympic medal (bronze) in Atlanta and since then India’s medal tally has increased in subsequent Olympics.
- In the London Olympics 2012, India won six medals and in the Rio Olympics 2016, India won two medals.
- In this Olympics, Shooting, Wrestling, Boxing, and Hockey are the areas where India can hope to win medals.
- Indian Archer Deepika Kumari and Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra are also important players to watch for.
- Hockey has always been a sport to look forward to when it comes to winning medals. However, Indian hockey won the gold medal only in 1980 and since then the Team has never reached the semi-final in the Olympic games.
- Out of 18 events, India cannot look beyond five or six areas when it comes to winning medals.
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Government support in Olympic preparation:
- This time the government has supported participants in many ways. Once a player qualifies for the Olympics, he or she receives Rs. 50,000 every month for out-of-pocket daily expenditure. This is irrespective of how it is being spent. There are separate funds for buying equipment, training, travel, etc. Thus, there is no room for complaints for the participants.
- It is very rare that the Prime Minister talks to the participants before they leave for the Olympics.
- In Mann Ki Baat, the Prime Minister also talked about the athletes and the hardships they have to go through in reaching that stage. This motivates participants to do great at the Olympics.
- The issue is that people expect medals in large numbers without considering what place India actually stands. In case only a few medals are won, people start questioning the government and participants. It is very unfortunate as unless we back them throughout the year, we can’t expect more medals from them.
- The government has started the Khelo India program to encourage sports all over the country. This may not bear fruit in this Olympics but it will definitely increase India’s chances of winning medals in future Olympics.
No other third-world country has supported Olympics participation in the manner in which India has done. It is true that not everyone can win a medal in the Olympics but Indian participants should give their best and be optimistic about winning medals. In this manner, they can make their country proud.
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