Friday, August 08, 2008

Indian Origin Players, Indian Olympic Dream and Cricket

Its Olympics time again, and the regular hues and cries about India’s performance in Olympics.

Hockey is the only sport, in which India has done well in Olympics. It has won 8 gold medals (including 6 in a row), 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals in this event. Unfortunately India has not qualified for this year’s event.

Other than Hockey, India has not done well in other events of Olympics. However there are certain events like Cricket’s T20 or Chess, which has good players from India. If these events are made regular events in Olympics, am sure India will do better in these events. (Read watch out FIFA…ICC gonna dent your profit margin).

Now coming to worst performances by Indians in Olympics, I see lots of people blaming the corrupt system for such worst performances. But we should also note that even India’s south Asian neighbours (also countries in Asia pacific region) have not done well in Olympics. Thus we can’t blame the system alone for this failure. The possible blame game can be the genetic factors** / body features, than the corrupt system.

If the Indian system has to be blamed for poor performance, then atleast the 3rd generation Indians in South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore (where they are in sizable number) or those from American continent and European continent should have done well for their adopted country. Rather there are only a handful PIOs (People of Indian Origin) who have won medals for their adopted country, like Alexi Grewal (cyclist) and Mohini Bhardwaj (gymnastics).

However in Hockey there are good no. of PIOs who have played well in Olympics. In fact though India is not represented in this year’s hockey event, there are sizable no. of PIOs in 2008 Olympics. PIOs like Sukhwinder Singh, Ravi Kahlon, Ranjeev Deol, Bindi Singh Kullar, Ken Pereira and Wayne Fernandes will represent Canada’s Olympic hockey squad.

Hence let us not blame Cricket or the system for the below par performance in other games. Let us build on our strengths and start extending maximum help to other events. In this process, we will continue to taste success in those events where we are strong (like Cricket, Chess & Hockey) and may taste success in other events too.

People are taken to certain sports naturally – like Football in Latin America, TT in China/Japan/Korea belt, Badminton in Asia Pacific belt and Cricket in South Asia. We play or watch games, because we derive happiness out of it. If a particular game provides that, support it rather than criticizing it and forcing it to die. Use that game’s commercial advantage to supplement other event's growth, and not at the cost of other.

Wishing India all the best in Beijing Olympics 2008.

**genetic factors (taken from net)

- Slow twitch muscles are good for endurance sports. Kenyans are born with a high number of slow twitch fibres. No doubt East (as well as North) Africans dominate the longer distances.

- 100 to 400 meters records are mostly held by athletes of West African ancestry. Athletes of West African ancestry hold 97 percent of top sprint times, including 494 of the top 500 100-meter times.

- Whites have upper-body strength, which contributes to their domination of weightlifting, field events such as the shot put and hammer (whites hold 46 of the top 50 throws), and the offensive line in football.

- Where flexibility is key, East Asians shine, such as in diving and some skating and gymnastic events

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