.. or just a flash in the pan?
And yes, I am talking about India’s performance in Beijing ’08.
Well, here’s what we should be certain about. India would not be a global sporting powerhouse in our lifetime. You and I will never see India win 10 golds in one Olympics.
The reason? The reason is this. (click here).
This article was written on the 3rd of September 2004, nearly 4 years from today, after the end of another Olympic games. And it is equally true today.
To win a few medals (and India will win more meals, India will win more golds in our lifetime, I can assure you that), private endeavour and private funding is good enough. A serendipitous development and set-up which churns out winners is good enough. The Bhiwani little-Cuba ecosystem being a prime example of that. India will win more boxing medals.
But to be a genuine sporting powerhouse, the system has to change. even more so, the mindset has to change. Really, the country has to change. And that is not going to happen in one lifetime. Read the old article again.
I will agree to BVHK’s post (click here) about Suresh Kalmadi, and the misplacement of government funds. Even without a whole lot of cricket-esque patronage, ensuring a regular input of funds and a concerted effort to help the progress of top under-21 talents (as opposed to development of grass-root sports infrastructure, a more wholesome change) can do wonders to our medal prospects at the Olympics. A Lalit Modi can generate a great lot of money to other games as well, and at least a part of it will go to the players. And this will lead to a lot more medals. I do see India winning 10 medals in one Olympic games in my lifetime.
But 10 medals do not make a genuine sporting powerhouse. Hungary gets 10 medals. Canada gets 10 medals. And they are not sporting powerhouses.
Forget China. Forget the US. Forget Germany, forget Russia. They are sporting superpowers (notwithstanding the super performance of Great Britain to come within the top 4 this time). I am talking Australia, I am talking UK and Korea, Japan and France and Italy here. And yes, Italy and France under-achiever this time… but you get the story, right? These are sporting powerhouses. They get 10 golds in each Olympic games, or are expected to.
These are sporting powerhouses, and India cannot get there in my lifetime.
Seriously, I will be happy with us competing with Hungary and Canada in the overall standing in the Olympic games 2040.