What makes Olympic glory a symbol of hope and achievement in a world full of despair and agony?
In 1912, just before the fifth modern Olympics, the French aristocrat 'Pierre de Coubertin' had an epiphany. He drew one ring for the five continents, interlaced them and gave striking colors, taken from various national flags. The great symbol for the Olympics was born. 'Five rings for peace and fraternity'.
The Olympics is not about winning and losing, it is about how you played the game - playing to the best of your abilities, to give it your all; to push your willpower with utter grit - beyond the boundaries of human effort.
India's Turn Around
In 2008, like a tilted kaleidoscope, the sports scenario in India suddenly changed for good. A young shooter from Chandigarh, Abhinav Bindra, performed the unbelievable miracle. He became the first individual gold medalist from India.
Olympics Medal Sport Event Athlete 2000,
Sydney Olympics Bronze Weightlifting Women's 69 kg Karnam Malleswari 2004
Athens Olympics Silver Shooting Men's double trap Rajyavardhan Singh 2008
Beijing Olympics Gold Shooting Men's 10 m air rifle Abhinav Bindra 2008
Beijing Olympics Bronze Boxing Middleweight 75 kg Vijender Singh 2008
Beijing Olympics Bronze Wrestling Men's freestyle 66 kg Sushil Kumar 2012
London Olympics Silver Shooting Men's 25 m rapid fire pistol Vijay Kumar 2012
London Olympics Bronze Shooting Men's 10 m air rifle Gagan Narang 2012
London Olympics Silver Wrestling Men's freestyle 66 kg Sushil Kumar 2012
London Olympics Bronze Wrestling Men's freestyle 60 kg Yogeshwar Dutt 2012
London Olympics Bronze Badminton Women's singles Saina Nehwal 2012
London Olympics Bronze Boxing Women's fly weight Mary Kom 2016
Rio Olympics Silver Badminton Women's singles P. V. Sindhu 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze Wrestling Women's freestyle 58 kg Sakshi Malik
Four years later in London 2012, India won six medals, and achieved the 55th position in the medal standing.
Indian Contingent at Rio
117 Indian athletes participated in Rio 2016, 53.84% Men (about 63) and 46.15% Women (about 54) across 15 sports at the Games. For London 2012, out of the 83 players who had represented the country, 60 were male (nearly 72.29%).
The gender divide seems to have happily resolved itself now; with the 117 athletes who have qualified for Rio, the female representation has risen from 27.71% in 2012 to 44.92% in 2016.
70.34% of the athletes are first-timers in which 35 athletes have represented India at the Olympics before.
Nearly 55.93% of the squad members were between the ages of 15 and 25, which implies that they have age on their side and would have no difficulty in representing the country for at least two more Olympics. This is very encouraging for the state of Olympic sports in India.
India’s Participation at Rio
Indian contingent was the nation's largest ever delegation sent to the Olympics, due to the historic comeback of the women's field hockey squad after 36 years and the proliferation of track and field athletes making the cut.
India made its Olympic debut in golf (new to the 2016 Games) and women's artistic gymnastics, among the sporting events represented by its athletes.
Athletics sport had the highest representation among all the categories; the 34 athletes make up for nearly 28.81% of the participants in the squad.
With Haryana's culture of wrestling and active physical sports, the state has produced 23 members of the squad (19.49%), followed by Punjab and Tamil Nadu who have 13 and 12 representatives respectively.
India at Rio Olympics
India got two medals in Rio Olympics and both of them were bagged by the female athletes. Silver to badminton player P. V. Sindhu in the women's singles, and a Bronze to freestyle wrestler Sakshi Malik in the women's 58 kg.
Another athlete, Dipa Karmakar, became the first female Indian gymnast to compete in the Olympics, and placed in fourth in the vault. Aditi Ashok (a golfer) qualified for the golf final, and Lalita Babar (a runner), became the second Indian woman to qualify for the final of track and field event.
India had secured a 67th position in the overall country ranking of Rio Olympics 2016. In order to achieve a better ranking in the Tokyo Olympics 2020, team India needs to focus on their strong & weak areas of sports.
We wish good luck to all our outstanding heroes at Tokyo Olympics and look forward to seeing our tricolor fly high and hear our National Anthem reverberating at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.