Where Indian athletes have been medal-less so far, the noise has been more around the politicians in Rio 2016 Olympics.Rio Olympic 2016 are nearing its end while India still awaits to open its medal tally in this year’s games. There has been a huge outcry over the dismal performance of Indian athletes but there is something about our politicians and Indian delegation who traveled all the way to Rio ‘to motivate the players’ which is grabbing more eyeballs than before.
It began with Sports Minister Vijay Goel getting reprimanded by the Olympic organisers for ‘aggressive and rude’ behaviour of his entourage. The organisers even threatened to cancel his accreditation in a letter written to India’s Chef-de-mission.
It all revolved around Goel entering out of access areas and clicking selfies with athletes. His entourage on the other hand has been blamed for being ‘aggressive and rude’ with volunteers. As he returned from Rio, Goel was involved in yet another gaffe by making spelling errors/typos in names of athletes to mixing up Dutee Chand and Srabana Nanda when wishing Nanda luck for her qualifying event on social media. All this when our players are facing criticism and perhaps struggling to keep up their morale too.
It must be noted that during the London Olympics, the then Sports Minister Ajay Maken didn’t attend and there was a lot of noise around attendance of IOA president Suresh Kalmadi who was then under probe for misappropriation of funds during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
And if the central minister wasn’t enough, the state ministers of Haryana too have been having a gala time in Rio while being there on the pretext of cheering for state athletes and to learn how to prepare if they were handed the baton to host any future National Games.
By costing Haryana exchequer Rs 1 crore, the nine member contingent led by state’s Sports Minister Anil Vij had reached on Sunday but skipped events of Vikas Krishan, Seema Antil, Ravinder Khatri and Hardeep Singh, reports Hindustan Times.
Sending ministers or government officials to Olympics isn’t alone to India with Spain also sending their delegates to Rio Olympics. But question arises whether these politicians attend the Games for the betterment of the sport in the state and the country or for personal holiday as is being demonstrated by the beach-hitting Haryana ministers.
Even former IOA president Abhay Chautala is in Rio for the Olympics – something that baffled a special court which is hearing his disproportionate assets case.
While the delegates traveled business class, our athletes were flown on economy class tickets – a reason cited by Dutee Chand for her poor performance in the 100m Heats. Does this kind of treatment meted out to athletes, who go through arduous training for years under pitiful circumstances and yet aim to win a medal for the country, not bound to humiliate them and bring down their confidence?
The scenario is such that the hockey teams were served only peanuts an Independence Day event organised by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports at the Indian Embassy in Rio. This happened after the players skipped their dinner at games village to attend the event in a haste.
With just four days left for the 2016 Olympic games to conclude, India is still vying to win its first medal and the hopes are again up after PV Sindhu’s victory against world number 2 Wang Yihan. While India managed to bag six medals in total in 2012 Olympic, the number is surely going to fall this time.
The government and authorities have a lot to learn from this year’s experiences and it wouldn’t be wrong to reform the entire structure. Only then, probably, India can hope to perform better in next Olympic games.
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