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Why can't we produce Olympic medalists from 1.2 billion people?
Who is responsible for poor performance of Indians in the Olympics? Is it our government, sports-persons, dirty politics in the sports federations, lack of winning attitude among sports-persons, or improper training?

IN A country that has hit a population of more than 1.2 billion, people pray for even a single medal in the biggest sports extravaganza of the world, Olympics. What is the reason that India has won only "six gold, two silver and seven bronze medals" in the Olympics since 1948 London Olympics. In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra became the first individual Indian in the modern Olympic, who won gold for the country.

After independence, country has returned from the Olympics several times without standing on the "podium" including 1976 Olympics in Montreal, 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, 1988 Olympics in Seoul and 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. After the drought of 16-long-years, Indian tennis star Leander Paes won bronze medal for the country in 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In the long history of Olympics, only seven individuals have won medals for the country since 1948 London Olympics.

If we talk about last four Olympics, India has won one gold, one silver and four bronze medals. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore became the first Indian who won silver for the country in the history of modern Olympics. Karnam Malleswari is the only female Indian athlete who won a medal for the country. She won bronze medal in 2000 Sydney Olympics in the Women's 69 kg category of Weightlifting.

If we go to the record books, 2008 Beijing Olympic was the ever-best for India where they won "three medals". Indian Hockey, once the team was considered unbeatable, won gold medal last time in 1980 in Russia Olympics. In the last four Olympics, starting from 1996 Atlanta, India stood on 71, 71, 65 and 50 ranks in the world's biggest sports extravaganza.

Who is responsible for the poor performance of Indians in the Olympics? Indian government, sportspersons, dirty politics in the sports federations, lack of winning attitude among sportspersons, improper training or what? Every year Indian government allocates a huge sum for sports in the budget, but who get benefited from this allocation is to be asked. Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres are located at multiple locations in the country to groom the sportspersons and provide them proper training and facilities, but what is the result?

In the country, where cricket is run by an autonomous body and the government has no involvement in the selection and grooming of a cricketer and the result we all know, we can be proud of our cricketers. Now, my question is; why not other sports federations are doing so good as BCCI? Why the sports federations take more interest in politics rather than the players and their facilities, needs, training, etc.? Why not an ex-player from the respective game chair the sports federation?

Time has now come for government to take initiatives and dissolve all sports federations and provide them rights to elect members from respective sports departments only. The other thing government should do, start sports academy at multiple locations of the country and provide the students ultra modern facilities to groom them since their early age to become world class players. In all such schools, there should not be any political interference and all the administration should be handed over to ex-players and coaches, etc.

I believe if government is able to open its eyes, India will produce a very large number of gold, silver and bronze medalists in every sport. We will be able to compete with China, United States and other countries whose performances and records are notable every time. As an Indian we can feel proud when our national anthem is played and tri-colour hoisted every time when our sportspersons stand on the podium. Everyone must remember "Where there is a Will there is a Way."

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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