Olympics – the grandest competition of all isn’t it? A platform where India has hardly seen any success. We grew up reading stories of Dhyanchand and the hockey team in our history text – books – the team that went unbeaten for 30 matches – 8 golds and then nothing. Paes got a medal in Atlanta 1996, then Karnam Malleswari in Sydney 2000, then Rajyavardhan Rathore in Athens 2004 and then we won 3 in the last Beijing Olympics. Vijendra Singh and Sushil Kumar won us the bronze medals while the first individual Olympic Gold Medal that Abhinav Bindra won.
But this time around the buzz is different – there are expectations like every year but this year it seems that the results may match our expectations.
Wiki contributors have done a great job putting together the details about the Indian contingent in the London 2012 Olympics.
There are amazing stories behind some of these names – the struggle, the inspiration, the determination.
The young Deepika Kumari – World #1 at 18 years of age – aspirant for an Olympic gold – her story is a real inspiration for youngsters today.
Saina Nehwal , Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa who carry the medal expectations in Singles and Doubles in Women’s Badminton
The resurgent Indian Hockey Team after a fine show at the the Qualifiers – hoping they put up a good show at the games. Captain Bharat Chetri and his teammates Sardar Singh, Sandeep Singh, SV Sunil and Sreejesh Ravindran share their stories here.
The fine wrestler Sushil Kumar and our flag bearer at the opening ceremony
The shooting hopes Abhinav Bindra, Ranjan Sodhi, Gagan Narang & Heena Sidhu
Vijendra Singh, Manoj Kumar leading the boxing medal hopes.
K Ravi Kumar and Sonia Chanu capable of springing a surprise in the weightlifting event
And finally the indomitable , 5 time world Champion Mary Kom as women’s boxing makes its debut at the Olympics this year. Read about this inspirational woman here and feel very proud, very very proud to have her represent your nation and fight for the highest honour.
I hardly follow any of these sports regularly – so I’m going to take time out and read about the athletes representing my nation a little more. Make an effort to track their achievements in between Olympics as well.
As for now the promise has been made to follow India’s journey this Olympics – there will be heartbreaks and there will be some smiles but there will be no stopping me from cheering this team out loud. You should join in too.