Sunday, February 12, 2006

Indian Olympic Lethargy.

In the Winter Olympics that is being held in Turin, Italy, I was watching the Luge event which is a small one- or two - person sled on which one sleighs supine(upward facing position) and feet-first. Steering is done by flexing the sled's runners or pulling straps attached to the sled's runners. Luge is also the name of the sport which involves racing with such sleds. And there is an Indian sportperson called Shiva Keshavan who finished 25th in the competition. Looking at his story it really made me wonder how the Indian sports official can make life really hard for a guy instead of encouraging him. He boycotted the opening ceremony where he was supposed to be the flag-bearer and which is a really big honour for somebody representing the country as he was being given a hard-time by the officials who were accompanying him. With the discrimination that the government and the corporate industry makes towards other sports compared to cricket, I wasn't really surprised that they do the same with the Winter Olympics team considering the fact that most of the population in India have never seen snow in their entire life. It's a shame that India with a population of more than a billion can never win anything big in any of the major competitions.
Is it government lethargy, lack of sponsorship from the corporate world or just the indifference of the general population to any sport other than cricket?
In a related story, when Jennifer Heil of Canada won a gold medal in the Women's Mogul event( she thanked J.D. Miller, a Montreal hedge fund manager who pooled a team of two ski coaches, four trainers and a sports psychologist to work with Heil so that she can reach the ultimate pinnacle in the sport and she did it. How many people like this would we find in India who would do the same thing.
Your guess is as good as mine. If things continue like this, I won't be surprised if India doesn't win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics in a million years unless they introduce "Ice Kabaddi" in the winter olympics any time sooner.