It must be common knowledge to everyone, that India has not won a single medal yet at the Rio Olympics this year. Of course, is it that surprising? We are a country where we encourage cricket like a religion and disregard any other sport that exists.
We live in a country that focuses on education and a career rather than building up a potential athlete. Make no mistake that our country has every facility to make that happen but it’s the involvement with all the extra people apart from a potential athlete that interfere with the development and success.
India used to be the greatest nation in hockey in the Olympics during the 1930’s and after cricket became popular, hockey just faded into the background. Its not that we’re not talented we have produced many athletes for a lot of different sporting events but we do not give that any importance, as far as we’re concerned it’s a hobby not prospective career path.
In urban areas of the country, there is a lot more tolerance for other sports as well as choosing an athletic career, which can seem appropriate for a lot of families. Unfortunately, a majority of athletes that enter major sporting events or who are very talented come from the rural areas of the country. This is not only in India but a common pattern in many countries.
Family also plays an important part that stunts the growth of talented athletes in this country. As long as they’re cricketers, it’s appropriate but if it’s any other sports, it might as well be a shame to the family. This makes the family push their child towards engineering or medicine or any other prospective career path that is deemed successful by the family.
This demolishes any kind of athletic growth that the country might have had a chance for. We need to stop this attitude of only engineering or only medicine. Parents and everyone else needs to stop interfering with a child’s passion and encourage them to follow their athletic dreams.
Who knows we might sweep the Olympics some day.