Finally the Olympics event for the year ended on a high for India with a 23 year old Neeraj Chopra clinching the Gold medal in Javellin throw. This also ended the drought of a Gold Medal for India since 2008 when Abhinav Bindra won managed to win the same for shooting. It was a wonderful sight to see a young man from India rising above all in an event which probably many of the common people of the country might not be aware of. This is despite of the fact that Javellin or Bhaala is a weapon that has been used since the time of Mughals in ancient India.
The issue related to emphasis on sports awareness and growth has been there for a while in our country and God knows how long it is going to take for it to reach its fullest potential. The paths chosen by the sportspersons in our country has been never easy especially what is being shown in some of the Bollywood films such as Sultan or Soorma where all it requires is a love interest in order to push you to do a crash course in a particular sport which would eventually lead you to win an Olympic medal. What we as citizens never come to know what goes behind in becoming a sportsperson; what are the challenges they face within their society, leave aside the pressure of representing a nation in front of the entire world. Despite of so many biopics being made about sports personalities in our country, we never come to know about the journey of an individual becoming a sportsperson first and eventually an Olympian and then a Medalist.
Well, let’s now talk about the after effects of becoming a medal winner. There must be an expectation that atleast now there will be some talks regarding the background of the sportspeople and what could be done futher to improve the condition of the sports arena. Unfortunately, that expectation also fizzled down in the facilitation ceremony of the Olympic medalists which took place after their return. Here are some of the questions that were asked by the presenters to Neeraj Chopra: ‘Your hair style has become popular. Now you must be getting lots of ads for shampoo or hair products.’ Even worse, ‘After your win, there would be a queue of wedding proposals waiting for you.’ Many of the news channels started comparing his personality with that of Virat Kohli which surely must not have been on the checklist of achievements for the young athelete.
Since childhood I have heard this phrase ‘Chadte Sooraj ko har koi salaam karta hai‘ (Everyone bows to the rising sun). Every now and then I come across examples which help me in recalling this phrase. But the worst part is belittling someone’s achievement for smaller outcomes. Getting a shampoo ad was not something which anyone would have aimed for. If that would have been his ambition then he would have got himself enrolled in some modelling agency. If someone would have wanted a marriage proposal then they would have logged on to some matrimonial site rather than working their a*s off to get such a herculean task done.
This wedding dilemma is something which has a huge reach across different geographies and across different professions. An individual lands his first job after continuous study of around 20 years, hunting through different speacilisations and fighting through intense competition around and what is the first thing he get to hear is ‘Congratulations. Now you are ready for marriage.’ This makes many people wonder as if all the hard work that has gone in making them a professional was just to fulfill an eligibility criteria.
It is a common belief that we are a land of some of the most inspirational and motivational stories to tell and share with the world. But in the process of taking inspiration, we should not digress our vision to some unimportant outcomes that would infact end up diminishing the achievement. A popular public speaker Simon Siek has shared that start with Why, then go with How and end with What. Similarly, the principle can be followed over here as well that why someone has taken up this challenge, how he was able to overcome it and finally what led him to convert the challenge into an achievement.
Olympics will take place again after few years. And we as a nation would surely expect even better results the next time. Many news channels have already started claiming that we would be touching the double digit in medal tally as compared to 7 this year. Well definitely it is easier said than done but if we do that let’s hope that during the course of time we not just focus only on the achievement but also appreciate the struggle to reach there.