They said even the great Olympus may fall one day and on that day, every living soul shall mourn, tears will be shed and it would inevitably be the end of the world as we know it. And when that happens, few will rise- for, only the brave shall be remembered, and forever they will be called Champions. And boys, The Olympus has fallen. This is the end. Rise today and your tales will be told for times to come. But only the victorious are remembered, this is your night and you are my Champions.
This is what our coach told us before that championship game. Pretty amazing pep talk for a high school coach, and way over the top for a high school championship match.
But sadly, for most of our athletes, this is as big as it gets. We Indians are not big on sports, nor are we very good at them. Oh! Cricket you say? Well sir, as much as your billion friends love cricket, it is popular in merely ten nations, and let's face it- the only reason we are good at it, is because it's a slow sport. There is no athleticism. Seven of your eleven international players are unfit, some even overweight! Yet, the people of our nation follow this sorry excuse for a sport as if their life depended on it. Even the ladies will prefer cricketers over everyone else.
But then again, we can't really blame them, can we? We have never been a sporting nation- in a country where 90% of the people eat 'paranthas' for all three meals a day, real athletes are hard to come by.
Now, what is wrong with our system is not cricket. It is the amount of importance people are giving it and naturally, the lack of attention paid to other sports. Last year's Olympics were India's best outing. How many medals did we win? Six.
Six! Indeed, a sad story. Of course Cricket is not a part of Olympics. What we need to realise and realise fast, is that we are not going to do any better in the next ten years. What we need to do, is start paying attention to Football, Basketball, Track and Field, Wrestling and Hockey among others.
Yes, this will require a lot of money and most of us don't have any. But often, support is what is required more than money. Sometimes hearing one’s name resound the stadium will do you a lot more good than an expensive stadium itself.
So, go ahead. Support your athletes, make them feel they belong. All the ladies, choose a Shushil Kumar over a Virat Kholi. Let your kid dream of Basketball instead of engineering- after all, engineering doesn't inspire a generation, an Olympic gold does. You give us just this, and we will make you the greatest sporting nation.
And for the love of god stop feeding your kids Paranthas everyday!