With a gold, two silvers and four bronzes, the Indian team has given the country its highest medal tally ever in Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Not just that, we have seen some record-breaking moments from our athletes with the Indian Women’s Hockey Team playing its first-ever Olympics semi-final.
Celebrations were in order. But once we saw the dozens of medals being won by other countries, the joy and satisfaction quickly became a story of a glass half-full or half-empty – depending on the mood.
The half-full people remain delighted that India delivered its finest performance ever this time. But the half-empty glass critics asked why is our medal tally lower than countries with only one-tenth our population?
Four questions always come up in most sports-related discussions in the country.
First, do the Indian sports federations that actually manage individual sports have the leadership and resilience needed to be able to excel? How do the federations excel in other countries?
Second, is the funding for sports really sufficient?
Third, how does one get more families to treat sports as something worth trying for and excelling in?
Fourth, do women athletes – who are 50 percent of the players – get enough protection and encouragement to persevere and shine?
To get to the root of the issues, I invited three guests in the third episode of Over2Shailaja.
Starting with Neelam Kapur, who until 2019 was the Director General of the Sports Authority of India and prior to that the Principal Information Officer of GOI.
I also talk to Shashank Atreya, a lawyer with specialisation on sports law who is also a tennis player at the state as well as the national level. And finally, I also speak to Rani Rampal – the captain of the Women’s Hockey Team – to discuss the challenges that women athletes face.
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