Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympics 2008...

I am just another sports fan in this country, so Olympics definitely means a lot is there to follow...
I remember the 1996 Olympics where in Leander Paes won the Bronze medal for India, how proud he was on the podium when the National Anthem was being played...i still remember the tears and pride in his eyes !
So as the magic and drama of 2008 Olympics is currently going on, a post for the few inspirations from the game.
Yeah, India has already won 2 medals, as I am writing this post and assured of a third one since boxer- Vijender Kumar has entered Semi-finals of the 75 Kg championship. This is a feat - since 1952 this is the only Olympics where India has won 2 medals ! This time it's gonna be Cheers to that :) Finally the "Cricket" fanatic country is showing improvement and success in other sports ! I hope this gives a message to all youngsters that it's not only Cricket that can give you name and fame, though i am contradicting myself when i say this..It's not like I am not an ardent fan of Cricket..I love the sport ! But the state of the present INDIAN cricket team, makes me wonder where are we heading. The "Unforgettable" tour to Sri Lanka, is like increasing woes to the already troubled state of our cricket team. I can go and on.. but hey , this post is for Olympics and not for Cricket !
Abhinav Bindra, the Gold Medal winner for Rifle shooting from India. The sole individual Gold medal winner in the history of Indian sports. I didn't hear his name till the day he won the medal..but since then each and every page of Sports section to the front page has his name mentioned somewhere. When i saw the final moments of him getting the medal...i was awed by his personality. That guy, looked so shy, looks of any next door guy..No waving to the crowd , no smiling uncontrollably, no fists in the air, nothing .... He took and went away with that medal as if he gets that one each day - everyday ! He was here to get this medal and he got it and he is happy and he is leaving ! His simple persona, his no heroic attitude was kind of overwhelming. I mean won't any individual just feel too good that he has won a GOLD medal .. let it be for anything. I remember the School days, when i used to win Medals. My school hardly gave medals as prizes, but whenever there used to be this Inter-School competitions, some Schools gave us a medal as winning Prize. I loved getting medals. I used to put it this way, we bend to get those medals but for once in Life, bowing is all about getting respect and more glory !
Wrestler Sushil Kumar gave India one more reason to cheer by winning the Bronze medal for the 66Kg category. The guy, currently i don't even know which state he belongs to, looks like the ordinary wrestler on the streets to me. He had the picturesque "Sushmita Sen" kind expression after she won the Crown for Miss Universe when he got the medal :)

In his own words, "Probably you may say that there was no expectatiosn from the people back home and the media too. But me and my coach (Satpal) always knew I had a fair chance of winning a medal and I'm happy I could achieve that. While it is good not to have that burden of expectation on your shoulder, I think we can give even more provided we get better facilities. I want to dedicate this medal to my coach Satpal," said the current world No. 7

Current world # 7 !!!! And what's the Current ranking of Sania Mirza, may i ask?? Such is the state of sports other than the glorious sports in our country. I am just playing the blame game here, actually since i don't know whether there is anything that can be done about it? Or there is anyone or any body who can take any concrete steps to improve the present state of sports in our country !! Rewards in form of cash and better posts are flowing in for these winners, but are we going to remember the hard work that others have also put in but may be missed the medal by few fraction of seconds !!! These guys without any media exposure or expectations or any great individual sponsorships are doing so well...if this can be calculated our Indian team should do much much better than Australia :P

Talking about Olympics 2008, won't be complete without talking two stars of the event according to my perspective.
First, Micheal Phelps !!!!
That guy won 8 (EIGHT) GOLD MEDALS !!!!!! That's a world record for winning the highest number of gold medals ever ever in Olympics...the previous record was of 7 medals...and he had already set a goal of 8 medals when he entered the game ! Talk about dreams getting fulfilled...
I wonder and sit with my mouth wide agape when i think about such people ! What must be their motivation ?? What in Life must be prompting them to achieve such scale of supremacy ? Or is it just written in their 'fate' to do so good and succeed in life?
It seems he has a very particular pre-race warm up each time before race, and listens to some songs on his ipod. People all over the world were eager to know what he listens to, and the answer was some hip hop ! So the headlines next day read , HipHop motivates to Gold :) How true can this be ? The first interview that he gave after winning the 8th Gold , he said, " I don't know what to feel right now, there are so many emotions going through my head and so much excitement, I guess I just want to see my mom." He comes from a home where his mom lives with him along with his two sisters. In his youth, Phelps was diagnosed with Attention Deficity Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He started swimming at age seven, partly because of the influence of his sisters and partly to provide him with an outlet for his energy. One of the sister said, to take refuge from their parents fights she used to go to the pool and yell !! He excelled as a swimmer, and by the age of 10 held a national record for his age group. It's like he was meant to swim , he was meant to excel in this sport, he was meant to win these 8 Golds that he got !
Everything. Fate doesn't change certain things, and one of them is, success for successful people ! It's only hard work, that much i can confirm....

The second star : The flag bearer of the South African team for the Olympics, Du Toit.
She is one of only two athletes to enter both the Olympics and the Paralympics and could become the first amputee to win a medal at a Summer Games for 56 years. Yes,one of her leg is amputated below the knee. In 2001 a scooter accident ended her hopes, or so it seemed to participate in an Olympics. Just three months after the accident she was back in water. She has worked hard to get back in shape and get her body accustomed to so many physical changes. Today, she didn't win any podium ranking, but the mere fact that she participated is worth a medal in itself. She swam for 2 hours 49.9 seconds, came 16th out of 25 participants - people with two legs were behind her. For a sport like swimming you go in the pool with such a disability ! And i crib that i can't swim since i am short !! Ufff......She feels after taking her leg off in the water, she is the most free and that's how she is... ! I mean isn't it mere hard work and dreaming big that has let her till here , i wonder !! Dreaming BIG ! Dreaming achievable things !! The kind of hurdles that she must have crossed, i wonder how she must have felt during those days of pain, during those times when she realized about her amputation ! Her dream of being an Olympian never shattered , whatsoever ! Come what may - i shall conquer it !! The best example that i can see of her. As the world talks about her coming 16th, all she could say was , she was appointed for not coming in the top five ! Such is the inspiration, such is the dream !
And she completes it all by saying, "I think for me to come to an Olympic Games is a dream come true, my message isn't just to disabled people, but to everyone out there - you have to work hard to make your dreams reality."

Hats off to you Du toit. Inspirations are taken from people like her, living upto our own dreams is in our hands.

Though, i really wish to appreciate each and every Olympian out there, they have made it till there. Their dreams are fulfilled to a certain extent. Their hard work has finally paid off in some way. For a sportsman, life is all about toiling hard out there and finally even missing it by fraction of a second can just wash away all their dreams, just like that ! For some i believe, luck factor - 'fate' matters a lot ! Had not Micheal Phelps won his 7th Gold by the difference of 0.1 seconds, history would have been the same ! Keeping fit for so long, living for the competition day and giving out the best on that particular day...isn't's very very hard !

So cheers to all of them ! And finally, at the end of the day...It's just a game !

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