Winning a medal in the Olympics is never impossible. It is tough, yes, because you are pitted against the best in the world. But in India we have made it even tougher. Every four years we go through this exercise-first there is the hype before the games and then, after the two weeks, there is the disappointment. Why? Because we are not sincere. Because we are not serious.
If you see our performance in the last so many Olympics, we have been steadily going down. Whatever results we had in 1960 was not matched in the 1964 games.We have come down with each Olympic games. Milkha Singh had an able competitor in Gurbachan Singh Randhawa in the 110 m hurdles in the 1964 finals, and then we had Sriram in the 800 m finals in the 1976 games. Eight years later P.T. Usha came to the scene in the 1984 Los Angeles games. But after that, has there been even a single name worth mentioning?
All of us brought laurels to the country on our own. If I did well, the credit went to the army, and no one else. If Randhawa excelled, the credit went to the police. P.T. Usha could shine in international events because of her physical trainer and her coach in the school.
What saddens me is the fact that today none of our sports administrators are serious or sincere about their work. Performance in Olympics, or, for that matter, any international event, is linked to a vicious chain. We must have a government which is sincere, to start with. And then, all the associations we have started should be held accountable for the results, or the lack of it. And then our players too should work hard.
I was in China recently and saw one of the most systematic approach to sports. China was nowhere in the sporting scene in, say, the 1958 Asian Games. And look at its standing today. This is because they have a...