THE SYDNEY OLYMPICS-LAST OF THE MILLENNIUM THE INDIAN DEBACLE
The Indian Federation of sports had given a rosy picture of the Indian contingent that participated in the last. Olympics of the second millennium held in Sydney in Australia in September –October 2000.It rather proved a shame for India .India could bring merely a bronze medal won by Karnam Malleshwari in weight lifting. India has been placed at the end of the list of 80 medal winning countries. The country has been equated not only with Iceland which has a population of 2 lakh 79000 people but even with Barbados which has a population of 269000.United States having near about one fourth of the population of India won 97 medals while Russia with one seventh of India’s population secured 88.China, of course a little more than India got 59 while Australia having 50th part of the population of our county got 58 only one less than China. Germany one twelfth got 57- France and Italy eighteenth secured 38 and 34.Surprising enough was the case of Cuba having 90th part of India’s population won 29 medals including 11 gold.
Looking to the per capital basis as analyzed by Australian Bureau of Statistics Barbados tops the list of winners. Martian Butterfield, the statistical opined.”The more people you’ve got the greater number of people you’re going to get with some kind of athletic ability.”Thus although in medal tally US tops it qualifies as 43rd in this context. China manages 65th position while Australia stands fourth- one medal for every 370,000 people. It is rather disgusting that India for one billion people got one medal that too bronze. Where does it count when Barbados secured one only for 269000 people.
Taking Gross Domestic Product (GDP) into consideration as monitored by Global Equity Monitoring China was at the top of the list of winners in Atlanta Olympics while USA was 16th.Tiny Burundi was placed seventh with 6.6 million population .In Sydney, taking GDP factor China was again leading. Then came Russia , Romania ,Ethiopia, Ukraine and Mozambique while on this basis as Borbados has a per capita income of $ 12,001 it slipped to 66th position .With per capita income of $ 1,670 India was nowhere in the Sydney Olympics and we tolerated all the humiliation. According to Butterfield health statistics also count a lot. In this respect too as Om Prakash Bharadwaj a Dronacharya awardee in boxing said,” Our people lack in physical fitness and conditioning ability.”
India with more than a billion people including 10 crore vanvasis can do a lot if the government officials make an effort to search and train the right type of young men and their sponsers.With only one training centre at Patiala and the other at Bangalore won’t do. We should have selection and training centers in each and every district of the country having honest people manage instead of corrupt and selfish officials.
In the Olympics the national character is at stake. It is rather disappointing and humiliating that a billion people lack the will to show themselves up. Neither the government nor the NGO nor the academicians are interested in sports and the honor of the nation. We have focus on training sports persons at the grass root level to shine at the international level.