Only Losers Will Say the Olympics is not about Winning or Failing!
One man has won more gold medals spread over five Olympic Games than India has in the entire history of the world’s most important sporting event that unfolded in 1896 in Greece. He beats many other countries hollow!
In fact, there are many whose individual feats have dwarfed India’s count in about 100 years. But I will just bring up one athlete who is the tallest of them all.
It must be obvious that I am talking about American swimming ace Michael Phelps. This is no secret but it does merit reiteration.
With the two gold medals he won today at the Rio Olympics, Phelps has taken his tally to 21. Add to that the four silver medals he has won over the years, the Olympic tally goes to 25, including the 21 gold medals!
All that without taking any performance-enhancing drugs!
India is yet to open its mark in Rio but taking into account the past 31 Games, its gold count is only nine – eight of them coming through hockey. During that period, India has also won six silver and 11 bronze medals for a total of 26 medals.
There are a few more events involving Phelps from tomorrow to Friday. So, there is room for him to equal or exceed India’s overall Olympic score.
Very well done, Phelps, congratulations! The world, not just Americans, has every reason to be proud of you. Your record is certain to last very long!
A celebration of human endeavour
Only losers will say the Olympics is NOT about winning or failing! It sure is a celebration of human endeavour where passion, pride, perseverance and even pathos come into play.
It also embodies the fighting spirit where a Del Potro and an Elina Svitolina can pull off upset wins over a Novak Djokovic and a Serena Williams respectively. Minnows bursting into the Olympic limelight, slaying Goliaths, is not uncommon.
Sporting events showcase a winning spirit amid an intensely competitive environment. It is something we see in the corporate world, where companies battle it out to win new business all the time.
Celebrating winners does not mean we are frowning upon losers who become richer in experience and take home good lessons learnt for turning in enhanced performances – without drugs, that is!
G Joslin Vethakumar