4:20pm, 24th August, 2016


We have our seasons for celebration. This is the Rio season. I know most of you would agree. And it would be wrong if I call it also the season of Feminism, not because it is not, but because it spans much more than seasons. ‘We’ can conquer all odds. Yes, we can. I know you would be aware of Dutee Chand, the daughter of a poor weaver who was humiliated by gender testing, became the first woman to qualify for 100 metres in 36 years.


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And then, we see growth in badminton as well. How proud am I to say that badminton no longer remains a one-woman sport! P.V Sindhu and Srikanth have put India on the global court. Now, it is not just Saina Nehwal that comes out of the mouth of young children who leave homes with corks to make them fly, cutting across winds!


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Heard of Vijay Goel? Obviously, the one hogging the limelight. Yes, they say. Yes, I say. Politicians are leopards, they don’t change their spots. Just like I mentioned our honourable Sports Minister.

What if I say that India discovered another P.T Usha? Lalita Babar became the second Indian woman to qualify for an Olympic track and field final. Who would have thought that 32 years after the Payyoli Express, such a miracle would be born?


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Clear with the concept of Heroes and Heroines? I guess, you’ll need a bit modification. We are privileged enough to have found a new Hero by the name, Dipa Karmakar. She vaulted into a billion brimming hearts and put gymnastics in the sphere of popular sport. Isn’t that sporty?


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Overall, Rio was a good experience for India, I would say. Yes, there were more misses than hits at Rio but there were some key takeaways. Plus, the glorious audience who absolutely don’t care about early morning or late night telecasts. Day 1 of Rio Olympics had a whopping 52.7 mn TV viewers in India alone.

If we go the stats (we don’t have a choice) we find that athletes are getting better. A total of 118 athletes participated at Rio which was 35 more than London in 2012. You know what that signifies? More athletes achieved the qualifying standard!
After 70 years of Independence when India turns back on the road she had taken, she wouldn’t be disappointed. India and grown and grown and has nurtured itself. This is the core of its existence. Long Live India! Long Live the spirit of Sports!

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