Not bothered about what some old people say: Abhinav Bhindra
A few days ago former Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra went on TV to say he is not going to sweat over the perceptions of some old people. Because, in his view, the old generations were from a time when sports found little encouragement.
The reality, though, is at divergence with his claim. While encouragement may have been found wanting, people then were more passionate about sports than those now. There was neither big bucks in it nor the marketing machinery that is rife now.
India produced more world champions in the past than that from Bhindra’s ilk. Eight of the nine gold medals India has won over the years were from those who fronted the Olympics prior to 1980.
All that without the kind of support the recent generations are getting, spending most of their time participating in tournaments overseas!
Tennis and badminton did not figure in the Olympics back then but India had champions in those sports. You will find more information on this in an earlier post here.
Beyond sports, his comments can be taken as representing one of the many prejudices Indians nurture – ageism! Well, it exists worldwide but is more pronounced in India and most of Asia, including Singapore.
G Joslin Vethakumar