Finally, face-saving news for a country of 1210 million people -and the news is about International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreeing in principle to lift the ban imposed last year. In fact, IOC agreed to pave the way for India's return to Olympic fold after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) agreed to have fresh elections and hold another Annual General Meeting (AGM) within a month to select their representatives.
It is still live in our memory how London 2012 Olympics Grand Finale ended with all fanfare a few months back. India did register an improvement in its medal tally - total six medals- two Silver and four Bronze. India ranked 55 among the 204 participating countries.
At the end of the 17 day long Gala sports event, only 85 countries had the honour of winning at least a single medal. USA topped the medal count with 104 medals followed by China with 87 and host Britain with 65. The Indian players, by and large, tried their best within the well known constraints to bring laurels for the country.
Yes, soon after the game was over, every authority and analyst took stock of the country’s performance and registered their view point on expected lines. No doubt, the protagonists of Indian performance which might seem very shameful in absolute terms, had at least following three reasons to highlight and rejoice on the occasion based purely on comparative position:
We doubled our medal tally from 3 in Beijing 2008 Olympics to 6 in London 2012.
In 1996 Atlanta Olympics, India could bag only one Bronze medal whereas it is now a whopping six. To say, six hundred per cent improvement.
Our immediate neighbours Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal couldn’t win even one medal in London 2012.
But, the table below showing medal count of top 15 countries in London 2012 with population of that country would definitely provide us enough food for thought for deciding our action plan for Rio 2016 Olympics.
|#||Country||Gold Medals||Total Medals||Country Population (in millions)|
I hope, most of the right thinking nationalist Indian who might not be good at playing politics (our de facto National Game) must wonder seeing the table above, why our top ten populous as well as relatively prosperous states namely Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka & Gujarat (UP has a population of 200 million & Gujarat 61 million) can’t compete individually with most of the top ranking countries in the above list. Each of these states and a few more in Indian Union has the potential and also the resources to show to the world that next forty months from now would be dedicated towards motivating, identifying and grooming the energetic as well as enthusiastic young population in all possible and sincere manner for becoming one of the top ten countries of the world in medal tally in Rio 2016 Olympics and thereafter Olympic after Olympic.
Hope IOA (Indian Olympic Association), Central as well as State governments and all sports organisations are listening.
Milan K. Sinha is a freelance writer. He has worked in Banking and Insurance sector for three decades following three years of active writing in various newspapers and magazines. Presently he is engaged in stress management, wellness and awareness activities besides freelance writing.