Jai Ho – India and the Commonwealth games

So now the games are all over and the probes, the scams and Kalmadi are all back in the media. But inspite of all that I am still happy that the CommonWealth games took place and took place in India. And I really don’t care if wet blankets are saying that ALL the good players pulled out of the games or that india is just a big fish in a small pond. I am still really proud of India’s performance in the games and am proud of all our athletes coming from small towns, medium towns and all other towns.. I see this not as a triumph of Delhi pulling it all off  at the last minute, but a triumph for all those unheard of athletes who have come into the spotlight. We were undoubtedly competing with strong nations and still coming out tops. That is just plain inspiring.

I am not saying that India is all set to top the charts in the next Olympics, we need to put in a lot more effort to outshine China’s dictatorship 😉 , but I am just saying that it was a great platform for sports of different kinds and athletes of different genres to showcase their talent. Even I have always been quick to dismiss India after abysmal performances in the Olympics, but the common wealth games really opened my eyes. Not only do we have a top-seeded Saina Nehwal who plays brilliant badminton and won the gold, we also have  17 year old Deepika who held her own against an Olympic Medalist with three times her experience to clinch the gold in Archery. And I have to mention the determined Ashish Kumar in Gymnastics. The firang commentators kept saying he is all heart but not much technique and he managed to win a silver with sheer ambition and determination. Yayy..  I had never been prouder of our country. With no history, no training centers around in Gymnastics and no popularity, for India with a team strength of  1, to win a silver beating  world champion countries is no small feat!

There were so many events that gave me goosebumps, literally! The women’s 4*400 Relay was one of them.  I had no idea that we  would be able to beat the “afro” heritage runners who all seem to be born with extreme stamina and lighting speed genes. It was a thrilling moment to see our women cross that finishing line first. And the clean sweep at discus throw was a rare moment in Indian Athletics…

Ofcourse I have to mention Shooting, Wrestling and Boxing where we won medals by the dozen.  Kudos to these men and women. I take pride in their ambition to do SOO well at such a platform. I am sure with all the encouragement they are getting now, they will go on to win Olympic Medals for us. Sushil Kumar especially won his event with such flair that it was easy to see he was an Olympic Medallist and will go on to get more medals for us.

All in all, I had such a great time watching all the events that I am missing it sorely now that it is over. It was a refreshing change to have India seen as a country with a lot of talent in various events. I hate seeing all the scams and probes now – a real black spot on such splendid performance by Indian Athletes and Sportspersons. It was so good when the news was all about which golds did we clinch and which countries did we upstage . I feel that the commonwealth games has exposed a lot of us to the kind of talent we have and I am hoping that it will bring a positive change to the state of sports in our country. With recognition and encouragement, the athletes will definitely feel more enthused to make our country proud. I hope that people are inspired enough to let their children pursue a career in professional sports. I am glad it happened in India this time 🙂

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