Why India Wins So Few Olympic Medals?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by JAYRAM, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

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    Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    56 mins ago

    China beat the US to the top of the table at the Beijing Olympics 2008. With 51 golds compared to US’s 36, they made it abundantly clear that they were now a sporting superpower and here to stay. Looking for the secret to China’s success, it was found in their system.

    China’s essential aim was to win glory for the nation through sport. To achieve this goal, the Chinese established centralized elite sports system. There were government run sports training centres at all levels – national, provincial, city and county sports schools. Children as young as 4 years were identified and put into these training centres. With all expenses borne by the State, the children were made to train out of their skins so that one day they may excel at the international level and bring glory for the Nation.

    In India, I daresay the system is entirely different.

    At the age of four, I was a precarious little kid whiling away my time playing games in the building compound – chor police, hide-n-seek, seven stones and climbing a tree to get onto the garage roof.

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    Children as young as four years were identified and put into training centres in China. Reuters

    A few years later, I took a fancy to table tennis which I religiously practiced by hitting the ball against my mother’s bedroom wall while she was taking an afternoon nap. No complaints came forth.

    At the age of 8 years, I began badminton coaching. Mom would be up at 5.00am every morning, making breakfast and getting me and my older sister ready for school. The real challenge there was getting me to wake up and then once ready, do 100 jumps with the skipping rope as ordered by the coach. I was lazy so I had to be coerced, bribed, convinced and basically handled with care as I was inflammable.

    Back then, life was pretty routine and I worked an average of 17 hour weekdays. But mom worked 20 hours. Though my homework and projects were done primarily by me, she helped out when I was just too spent.

    Mom diligently took me for my badminton coaching 7 days a week for many years. This impacted her social life as invitations to parties and events were turned down on a regular basis. Yet no complaints came forth.

    We travelled for tournaments, handled challenges and faced the triumphs and losses together. She did all this knowing that she was giving up time with the rest of the family and her dreams of running a small business.

    For my 16th birthday present, I asked her for something big –I wanted to shift to Bangalore for advanced training. She bit the bullet. Her little baby had grown wings and was ready to fly.

    This is where I caught up with the Chinese system to a certain extent. Now I was away from home in a privately sponsored academy training hard to bring glory for the Nation.

    And even after that and until today, she is my constant support offering words of encouragement and assurance. She made me believe that I could be the best… and even if I didn’t get there for some reason, she had got my back. She taught me to stand up after I’ve been knocked down many times over.

    My experience is not unique.

    Sacrifices made by Gopichand’s mother to ensure he had enough money to buy shuttles are well chronicled in his recent biography. Odds & social ridicule faced by parents of Geeta Phogat to become an Olympian is yet another example of sacrifices made by parents. These are but a few examples that are more well known. I am sure there are many more such inspiring stories that have yet to see the light of day.

    My mother raised me to be an Olympian. She was my family, teacher, guide, friend, psychologist, doctor, dietician, travel agent and… punching bag.

    Behind every Olympian who goes out and plays for the country there is herculean effort and sacrifice put in by their mothers, fathers, and others who have contributed to make her or him ready to compete with the best. Let us also cheer these unsung Olympians with the same ardor as we cheer our athletes in London!


    Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family | Firstpost
     
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  3. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

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    The sad but true story of India’s Olympic failings

    Jul 28, 2012

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    “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

    - Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin (1 January 1863 – 2 September 1937), Founder of the International Olympic Committee, and considered the father of the modern Olympic Games.

    Thanks to the shrill ‘why-does-a-country-with-a-billion-people-win-so-few-Olympic-medals-brigade,’ every self-respecting Indian knows that India’s strike rate at the Olympics has been less than encouraging. Here’s a number that will make it seem like Indian sportspersons have taken the grandly named Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin’s words a little too much to heart: India has won just 0.16% of the 12,796 medals awarded in the last 116 years.

    Depressing as it might read, the level-headed, not easily swayed and analytically inclined lot among you will see in that figure living proof that having a gigantic pool of people to dip into for potential Olympic champions is not a good enough reason to demand a rich haul of medals.

    The next time someone uses the ‘population’ argument to bewail India’s poor performances at the greatest sporting spectacle on Earth, be sure it’s little more than lazy shorthand for ‘I haven’t thought hard enough about India’s abysmal returns, but this sounds like something I must feel indignant about.’

    What this specious ‘billion-people-but-few-medals-to-show-for-it’ cry doesn’t take into account are some of the more real factors that hold our country back in the race to Olympic glory. In fact, and ironically, being the second most populous and most democratic country in the world hinders our attempts to harvest a rich haul of medals at the Olympics.

    Unlike our huge neighbor China, which every competitive Indian knows won the most gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games and way, way, way, way more than India has in all sporting events put together, India is a thriving, chaotic democracy that cannot implement ‘grand’ plans in any walk of life, let alone sport, with an iron hand, like China can, and does.

    Put simply, our proud status as a country in which anyone can do pretty much as they please is, yet, another hurdle in the way of India’s march to excel as a sporting nation. Democracy, as we all know and experience day in and day out, is a very slow, often inefficient way to get things done.

    If unbridled democracy is one of the things that is holding us back, how is it that equally, if not more, democratic countries like the United States of America, Great Britain, Australia, France and Italy, to name five of the top ten in the medals tally at the previous Games, managed to win so much?

    The question brings us to another, perhaps even more debilitating reason obstructing India from scaling great heights as a sporting nation: Poverty. For one, all the five countries names just above are developed, ‘first world’ countries with a lot more resources to invest, or what many Indians might consider waste, on sporting pastimes.

    India, by way of comparison, is 129th in the rankings of per capita incomes of countries around the world. Still we managed to finish a creditable 50th on the medals tally at the Beijing Olympics. Actually, Zimbabwe was the only country with a per capita income lower than ours to outshine India at the 2008 games, but only because one athlete, the swimmer Kirsty Coventry, won a gold and three silver medals all by herself for her country.

    Of course, these deceptively impressive numbers from the Indian contingent will not be considered good enough by the lot that steadfastly believes a country with as many people as ours must finish, at least, in the top ten, if not second, in the race for sporting metal. Truth be told, a more valid cause for outrage would be if India were as prosperous and populated as say the USA but finished up outside the top 25 in the medal standings.

    Quite obviously, it’s poverty and its consequences that thwart India from excelling as a sports entity. If this running, kicking, jumping, wresting and other such fun and games can be turned into a quest guaranteed to set you up for life, rather than the ‘squander of precious time’ most Indian parents caution their kids it is, Indians will take to sport in droves.

    Our success as an academically-oriented people proves that we are excellent at pursuing something that pays well or, at least, regularly; to a lesser extent. So does India’s obsession with cricket. Indians crave security. Our repeated exposure to hardship and poverty makes us desperate to escape it by seeking, more than anything else, a source of income for life.

    In the relatively short history of free India, education and work have been the recommended ways to make money and live somewhat happily ever after. Sport has never been the horse an average Indian would want to bet his proverbial ‘dhoti’ on. For India to win more Olympic medals, this must change. If India has to become a sports heavyweight, sport must become a middle class pursuit. Right now, only cricket, acquiring a university degree and work indisputably are. A cursory look at the medal winners for India in the last four Olympics will illustrate what I mean.

    Leander Paes hails from a prosperous family. Karnam Malleswari, however, took to the hard grind of weightlifting as a means to give herself and her kin a better life. On the other hand, Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was an Army man with access to world class training and nurturing from an early age. Abhinav Bindra, too, belongs to an affluent Sikh family. But Sushil Kumar Tehlan’s and Vijender Singh’s fathers were both bus drivers.

    None of these medal winners are part of the ‘Great Indian middle class.’ Only the very poor or the very well off in India feel motivated enough (for entirely different reasons) to focus on competitive sports apart from cricket and studies. This is the prime reason India does not win very many medals at the Olympics, and other world level competitions. No more than a very small percentage of the population is willing to devote its life to athletics, shooting, judo, table tennis, gymnastics, fencing and the like.

    It’s only when these activities become as or even somewhat as rewarding as cricket, school, and the ubiquitous ‘import-export’ will a majority of the billion Indians take it up. Until then, it’s idiotic to carp about the fact that a country with so many people has so little to show by way of Olympic medals.

    Fact is, unlike the people who run this blessed nation our poor athletes are super motivated over-achievers.

    The sad but true story of India’s Olympic failings | Firstpost
     
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  4. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    If India does the same then we will moan about human right abuses and also about why our tax is being squandered, a few rants about secularism and left wing will also be flung while were at it.
     
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  5. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    China invests 5 billion RMB a year on Olympic training. They make it a national priority to win just like the Soviets. It doesn't bring economic benefit... but it is easily worth it for pride.
     
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  6. niharjhatn

    niharjhatn Regular Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    Kind of ironic when the Olympics is meant to be an AMATEUR competition but has completely morphed into an intense d*** shaking contest between the nations... and the 'amateur' athletes are put under far more pressure than any professional sportsman.
     
  7. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    China is the only major nation to make all their athletes professionals so they are the only ones making it a d*** contest.
     
  8. GromHellscream

    GromHellscream Regular Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    Don't tell me the french guys who won 2 gold prizes in swimming yesterday are AMATEUR. LOL
     
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    Olympics is big time these days.

    In countries, they take small children away from their parent and groom them on a rigorous regimen to be fit for the Olympics when their time comes.

    Childhood is ruined, but it sure brings laurels to the Nation.

    Communist countries used to do so in the past and so do some do it even now.
     
  10. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    They are all students so yeah, they are AMATEURS.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    [​IMG]

    So fascinating.

    What dedication indeed.

    China sure has a way to inculcate nationalism.

    I am sure they are well looked after and well fed and well trained.

    In a way it is a great way to liberate these poor village children from the drudgery of mundane childhood existence to make them into national and international star.
     
  12. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    All Chinese young athletes are also students athough most of they grade suck.
    Arman2REP, please share us how your students get trained so that they can won AMATEURS Phillps who trains 6 hours a say, 7 days a week! on Sunday, Phillps have to startup earlier to go to church, your AMATEURS French student must never go to church, totally wild.

    BTW, NBA stars never delay their are not AMATEURS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  13. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    while me and people with healthy brain can see a lot of other important differences the author from india apprantly has to notice something no 1 in other parts of the world usually might be interested with but its still ok otherwise what else differences can indians say in the 1st place regarding olympics??

    on top of that....my 2 cents:
    1 prc invests a lot in sports which is true....but the investments especially after economic reform can not only bring some exllent athletes to this country along with some national pride shit but also create some new ceonomy which is largely feartured and highlighted by some olympic gold medalist superstars such as guo jingjing...liu xiang....li ning and forth (li ning as a sports brand has become very famous in china which in my opinion is only 2nd to nike addidas kind of 1st class brands)....so the investsments not only can finally be paid off and more value can be added in our economy and GDP i assume......leave alone the huge interests relatively successful soprtsmen can get in their lifes....

    2 in some sorts of sports trainning children who r very young r indeed sent to trainning centers but besides the fact that if u r trained more early u probably can do better later there is also an importent factor here which is children sent to those centers r normally from poor families especially from rural areas so their children can get all the things free in trainings and other educational things unless u finally choose to leave..... and the family itself can get some money which is more like a child earnning a bit of sallary for his family..........

    3 how high u can get in olimpics usually reflexes the economy...seience....education...infrastrture of a range of stuff of your nation.....to get gold medals is not the only reason to attend olympics but normally r obtained by sportsmen from developed areas....why so???coincidence??
     
  14. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    All Chinese athletes are PAID a SALARY by CCP to perform. It is just another public sector job in China which leads to pension on retirement. French athletes are not paid unless part of professional sports league in the off season, none of which the medalists are.
     
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  15. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    indeed an eye opener.......gee....
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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  17. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    lol you do know all nation pay their athlete one way or the other, ads for example, just look at basketball, US is dominate ALL, cause they have some professional super star in it. same with swimming and others, naive to think they didn't get payed.
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    Endorsements is not Govt sponsored and all do not get endorsement offer.

    Only the top few get it.
     
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  19. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    yes, instead spend money train them, they just wait and see who has the better chance then pay them. smart move ;) if you look at soccer, tennis, basketball sport that has professional value, most player in there are professional player.
     
  20. Impluseblade

    Impluseblade Regular Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    This may be one reason. But You should open your eyes and think about other things that may be attributable to the difference. Otherwise, you would not improve your performance in the Olympic games.
     
  21. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Re: Olympics: The difference between India and China is… family

    ...AND RIGHTLY SO !! .... human right abuse for sure, not so sure about taxpayers money and the rest of it ....what im saying is:- let the prc shine as much as they want on the olympics , let indian kids decide what they really want ( with their parents ) and not be FORCED into some state decisions for their lives - the best is the middle path - let the kids and parents choose , then let the state sponsor - the state should not get in too early in the act and make decisions for the kids and eventually ruin their lives - we only see the gold medals , we dont see the ruined lives - that is not shown on PRC television !!
     

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