To summarize India’s Olympic results in London, the country has won 6 medals. Two silver medals and four bronze medals. No gold medal this time. The fact that India, – over 1.2 billion people as everybody knows – has never been really successful at the Olympics is still a mystery to everyone but I won’t try to solve it here; the last time I dared to ask myself why many Indian people couldn’t swim, I was bombarded with furious comments on a forum dedicated to India. So, I’ll leave this issue to sociologists or Indian journalists.
Despite this, India has improved a lot this year: first of all, the number of athletes taking part in the Olympics is the highest ever seen in the history of India: 83 athletes in London whereas they were 57 in Beijing. Secondly, the amount of medals has increased significantly! (Yes, it has!) One can even say it has doubled! It is a real turning point in the history of Sporty India who seems to be ready to invest more and more.
In addition, these modest results are an advantage when you write a blog about India, because I am one of the only bloggers on earth – besides people blogging about Montenegro or Tajikistan, of course…- who can introduce each winner from the same team in just one post! Can you imagine the difficulties if I were a China fan – 88 medals – or an American lover -104 medals! And think about the athletes themselves! How difficult it must be to become a star when you are a Chinese rower or an American archery champion among dozens and dozens of other medalists!
So, the Indian Olympic Heroes are:
Gagan Narang is an air rifle shooter and he has won the Bronze Medal in the 10 m event. He was born in Chennai but brought up in Hyderabad. Well, I don’t really know what to say about him except the fact that he is good at shooting but you already know that… He can sometimes be grumpy as he refused to take part in the Commonwealth Games 2010 because he hadn’t been given the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, a prize that he finally got one year later!
Vijay Kumar: Few people knew soldier Vijay Kumar before he won his Silver Medal in the 25 metre rapid fire pistol. His name was written red on Wikipedia pages, which is an obvious sign of very little popularity. But now, things have changed. Vijay is talented and good-looking! The world is his oyster! But what about his career as a soldier? According to firstpost.com, he would stay in the army if he was promoted and received a position that matched the offer made by the Sport Ministry (a job in the Sport Authority of India).
Saina Nehwal is a lovely 22-year-old Badminton player from Haryana. She won her bronze medal thanks to Chinese opponent Xin Wang who had a knee injury. It doesn’t really matter because the young Indian girl is already a superstar in the world of badminton and she has an impressive amount of victories in her bag. Among all the championships she has won, she got the Gold Medal during the Commonwealth Olympic Games in 2010. She is the 4th best badminton player in the world. And, above all, she has won the first Indian medal for badminton at the Olympics.
Mary Kom looks sweet but be careful! She’s a boxer! She is from Manipur, in East India. She has won the Bronze Medal in the Flyweight category and she has become a world champion 5 times. She was the flag bearer during the Closing Ceremony. Despite his great boxing career; she is married and has twins. They better not throw too many tantrums if you know what I mean!
Yogeshwar Dutt: He has won the bronze medal in the Men’s 60 kilo Freestyle Wrestling. He is from a village in Haryana. His parents are teachers. Despite his successful career as a wrestler, his great ambition was to win a medal at the Olympics. But now his dream has come true, it’s time for marriage, his mother said! A new difficult match for Yogeshwar!
Sushil Kumar: he is a World champion wrestler. He won the Bronze Medal in Beijing but this year, he has won the Silver one (66 kilos Freestyle) He was the flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony, (yes, he was the guy next to the lady in red ah ah!). Some people say he likes biting his opponents’ ears but that’s certainly just a sign of affection.
What about France?
As far as France is concerned, I am quite proud of my country. I’m not always proud of France, we don’t always show a good image of ourselves, especially because people of quality are often put aside and only big mouths are listened to. But today, I am proud, especially because these Olympic Games have proved that the French are not just a bunch of people who can only complain and show off. The French athletes have shown the beauty of sports which are not always the most popular, such as handball, swimming or pole jumping. The French are not just good at arguing and fighting about a football and I am quite happy with it*. The French can be good-tempered, hard-working and deserving. We are the 7th country, which is not so good if you compare to the UK or to Germany who have been really impressive but we have improved since Beijing where we ranked 10th. (*15 august: The French handballers have broken a table on TV to protest against a bad article written by a French newspaper… So stupid…)
They are the true heroes of our nation representing sports and not the crickets who get all recognition more that what actually required.