posted as a comment by NearPostHeader. I agree to most of the same in principle. Will comment further though.
1. India has clearly declined in sports in which it was a strong contender before. By that I mean sports which are a part of Olympics. Hockey is the first example that comes to mind. Tennis and athletics are now entering those dangerous waters (granted, Lee and Hesh put aside their differences and reached quarters while Anju Bobby George hit bad form at the worst possible moment, but apart from them, do we have anyone to compete strongly on the world stage?). It is a tragedy of epic proportions that instead of making sincere efforts to recover the momentum lost in these sports, we are debating over including cricket in Olympics. Isn’t that disturbing, if not insulting to the other sportsmen (think archery, wrestling and shooting) who have only Olympics to get a proper competitive exposure and thus, a sense of participation and achievement which will be solely theirs?
2. Yes, politics and sports do not mix. But good administration and sports do mix. In fact, that is the key relationship that needs to be nurtured if India has to compete with the likes of France and Italy. The matter assumes even more urgent proportions because India is going to host 2010 Commonwealth games at Delhi. Not only do we need strong performances from the adminstrators (as hosts) and sportsmen (as being well-versed with the conditions), we also need a healthy symbiotic partnership between them to ensure that we, as a sport-loving country, do well in these games. Will it happen? Your guess is as good as mine.
3. If one were to look at the sporting powerhouses closely, we can observe that that spell-binding performance is not totally inspirational or charged because of the stage. Rather it has come from hours and hours of gruelling training, practice, body conditioning, scientic preparation…you get the picture. The facilities contribute as much as the skill and focus itself. So, if we want to be on the same level, we need the same kind of facilities, which unfortunately, we don’t seem to have. So, we need to think differently for now. Interestingly, we seem to have no qualms about sending shiploads of brainy geeks (yeah, I know I am one too) abroad to help the technologically-challenged “customers and clients” but, absolutely have no plan in place to send promising athletes for conditioning, training, preparation and the like abroad to perform creditably for the Motherland. Yes, the private companies do that, but what is stopping the government from taking the initiative in this regard and doing something about it? After all, aren’t sportsmen ambassadors of the country?
4. It is time we stopped comparing stupidly like how the hell did a tiny nation like Jamaica win so many golds? It did so because of the path set by legends like Merlene Ottey and recently, Asafa Powell. Didn’t Newton say “”If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”? It takes a great deal of groundwork for success to arrive. And that groundwork for India has to come now.
I would have said more, but I am very interested to know what official measures are taken to further this apart from articial ones like the BCCI awarding the Beijing heroes. How patronizing can one get?