Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

India and Olympic medals

India got its first Olympic medal in 1928. That was gold medal in hockey in Amsterdam. India continued to win gold medal in hockey till 1956. That was the only medal India used to win except in 1952 when it also won a bronze medal. In 1960 it was silver medal. In 1964 India reverted to gold. In 1968 it was silver. In 1972 it was bronze. India’s last gold medal in hockey was in 1980 in Moscow. Many countries had boycotted Moscow Olympics. India did not win any medal in 1984, 1988 and 1992. It was bronze in 1996 and 2000 and silver in 2004.

India’s highest tally till 2004 was two medals in 1952. In 2008 India won one gold medal and two bronze medals.

This time India sent 81 athletes. India does not compete in most Olympic events, so chances of getting medals are limited. Out of 81, most athletes failed to make it to the next round. Some countries get a gold or silver or bronze medal every day. In tennis we sent seven players and five officials, one of them mother of Sania Mirza.

To get more medals India has to compete in most sports if not all. That does not mean government should spend money on sports. Indian Olympic officials are not answerable to the government. It is useless to give money to Indian Olympic Association. India should encourage private persons to spend on sports. USA Olympic Association is privately managed.

Priority should be on events where one athlete can take part in one or more events like long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vault, discus throw, hammer throw, hurdles, archery, shooting, shot put, swimming, gymnastics, short, medium and long distance races. After that importance should be on events where two athletes take part. Then it should be on events where three and more athletes take part in descending order.

During march past all athletes should take part. Not taking part has not increased chances of winning. For most athletes Olympics is once in a lifetime opportunity. Most athletes neither get a chance to take part in march past nor win medals.

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