India has had very limited success in the history of Olympics. And every one of us is afraid whether the worst will happen in Rio, with India returning empty handed. While there is no harm in being a patriot and feeling bad about India not winning a medal, let us analyse the root causes for this. The Olympians aren’t to be blamed for this. I don’t want to blame the government alone as well. They are all part of the Indian system. As a system, we have failed collectively and unless we change, it’s difficult to expect anything extraordinary. Here are 5 reasons why we should not expect India to win a medal.
As parents, a majority of Indians prefer their kids scoring marks over sporting activities. The reason being, achieving in sports is not easy, while getting a job by scoring marks is the easy way out. As an Indian, everyone looks up to someone who is an investment banker or a coder abroad, but not so much to someone who is trialling for State level long jump. Thus, our priorities are totally different to that of countries like USA, Japan or China. This is the reason why we are unable to match these countries in Olympics.
A typical example is Kuraleeswaran. He was one of the most celebrated swimmers of India having swam across five channels in a calendar year when he was aged just 13. In 1996, he was awarded the Guiness Record and Arjuna Record and became hugely popular. However, due to lack of corporate sponsors, he had to leave professional swimming and continue with higher studies. Currently he is working abroad for some corporation. Had we set our priorities right, we never know what he could’ve achieved.