Hours after returning from Rio de Janeiro as a goodwill ambassador of India’s Olympic contingent, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar expressed wholehearted support to the Indian athletes, saying he was going to be “with our athletes, especially when the chips are down”.
India’s biggest Olympic contingent hasn’t yet lived up to expectations, failing to open the medal count in the first four days.
Asked at a promotional event on Wednesday about his experience in Rio when people from diverse backgrounds have some bizarre reactions on what’s happening with the Indian contingent, Tendulkar said he was overwhelmed by the experience.
“My time in Rio was incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the athletes, and also went there to support them and watched various competitions.
“Actually when you go there, you realise how hard they are competing and how hard they are pushing themselves.
“Olympics is the biggest sporting event and athletes prepare themselves for years and years,” Tendulkar said.
“And after all this preparation, you lose by a fraction, so there are ups and downs. Being a sportsperson myself, I understand how disappointing it is sometimes when things don’t go according to your plan.
“Not always you are able to execute your plans. There are various challenges, unexpected challenges. Something which matters to me truly is your intent, the way you go out and perform and represent your nation.
“When I spent time with the athletes, I could feel that energy and I posted a tweet saying it was an honour and a privilege to be there among these champions.
“The results sometimes go your way, sometimes against you. I feel when the results don’t go your way, that is the time I would like to support those athletes.
“Be with them, be behind them. The first half hasn’t gone according to our plan, our expectations.
“I am sure, with our support, things will change. I, for sure, am going to be with our athletes, especially when the chips are down.”