“We fought and never gave up; dedicate this medal to COVID warriors,” –the heart touching words of our incredible hockey captain - Manpreet Singh from Tokyo.
During this COVID era, the Olympics games medals achieved by our young talents filled our mind with joy and glory. While the pandemic is ravaging us, Indian athletes gained medals, touching the hearts of the fans who couldn’t watch the match live from the stadium, but they won and made our Nation proud. On 23rd July 2021, when Magnificent Mary (Mary Kom) and Manpreet Singh carried the Indian national flag during the opening ceremony, the 1 billion plus minds were filled with eagerness and joy. Our athletes, raised to the expectation bagging a total of seven medals. Thus 2021, also became the most successful Olympic year for India in its history. These medals can be considered as a gift to all Indian frontline workers who are still fighting to protect many lives.
After 41 years, India’s men’s hockey team now ended the long-awaited journey by securing an Olympic medal in hockey. It was an elated moment for India, a moment for all Indians to be proud an ample and wondrous comeback to hockey. After losing the semifinals against Belgium, India went for the bronze medal against Germany. India defeated Germany by 5-4 after a marvelous last second save by the Indian goalkeeper P.R Sreejesh. It was a gleeful and thrilled match for every Indian, the moment that we waited for 41 years.
Since the 1980s, the Indian national hockey team has never won a single medal in the Olympics. Due to this, many of us thought that hockey wasn’t an important game, and thereby hockey lost its position from most of the people’s heart as national game of India. At the same time cricket became the most popular game and attracting huge crowds. Many people started to think that cricket is the national sport of India. However, hockey has made a grand and staggering comeback in the 2020 Olympics.
On 23rd July 2021, when the Tokyo Olympics began, Mirabai Chanu bagged a silver medal for women weightlifting, and it became India’s first Olympic medal this year. After India won a medal on the second day of the Olympic Games, every one was astounded and stunned, and thereafter all the Indian eyes were searching for P.V Sindhu. Eventually she bagged a bronze medal for women badminton. It was a historic and phenomenal win for P.V Sindhu and for India as she became the first women to win two individual Olympic medals (Rio-2016 and Tokyo-2020). Lovlina Borgohain, an Indian professional boxer won bronze for women’s boxing in Olympic Games. This woman gave her medal to build a road in her own city of Golaghat in Assam.
Following these athletes, Ravi Dahiya added one more silver medal to Indian history. After being defeated in the semi-finals, Bajrang Punia secured a bronze medal. In addition, another historic event took place this year, Neeraj Chopra, an Indian javelin thrower made history by becoming the 2nd Individual person to claim a gold medal and the first person to claim a gold medal in athletics. He threw the spear with great determination and confidence at a range of 87.58 meters in his second round. It was a memorable and mind-blowing moment for India since a gold medal has secured in Olympics after a gap of thirteen years. However, the sad part is about the Indian women’s hockey team as they got defeated by Great Britain, and they lost their chance to grab at least the bronze medal. In golf, Aditi Ashok had secured 2nd position in round 2 and round 3 but in the last round (final), she lost her place and came 4th position. These two events became a sad moment for India, but we should also appreciate their hard-work and dedication to our Nation.
The history of Indian Olympics started with Norman Pritchard representing India in the 1900 Paris Olympics. Norman won two silver medals in Athletics. When India became an independent Nation, K.D Jadhav became the first individual Olympic medal winner for Independent India. K.D Jadhav won a bronze medal in wrestling during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki (Finland). Following his footsteps, many young talents came up, some succeeded and some not. During the best times, Indian hockey team was the pride of India, by attaining many medals at international level. From the history, we can see, in one of the Olympics Indian hockey team took down America by huge margin (India-24, America-1) which became a world record.
The Olympics games are the most well-known athletic competition. They are hosted every four years in a particular country. It was first hosted in Athens, Greece in 1896. Almost 200 nations participated in the Olympics games. India has won numerous medals in the Olympics games, with 10 gold medals, 9 silver medals and 16 bronze medals with overall of 35 medals. Olympics are known as a compilation of several global sports event filled with spirit, qualities, and culture. Every sportsperson who are participating in Olympic events should have the qualities like respect, sportsmanship, capability to concentrate, Confidence, determination, friendship, equality, discipline and patriotic. It is also a game of ethics and true spirit. Even if we got a single gold medal, we would celebrate the day with joy and pride.
The two most important lessons we can learn from the Olympics games is that, never give up, even if you are in the middle of failure. Try again and you can succeed. Do not enjoy even if you are at the brink of victory. 7th August – on Tagore’s 80th death anniversary, his national anthem played once again in the Tokyo Olympics stadium. On that prestigious moment, every Indian’s eye was filled with tears of joy. When we see these Indian athletes holding their medals, with our national anthem in the background we feel proud, a patriotic spirit enters our heart, we feel the fragrance of victory, and we would roll our fist and place it on our heart with honor and pleasure.
“The most 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 Coubertin