12 March, 2008

A tragedy of Olympian proportions

A saga started exactly 80 years ago. It went like this:

Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, Silver, Gold, Bronze, Bronze, _, Gold. Thus it ended with a silver, nay, Gold lining 28 years ago.

In the Golden era during 1928 - 1956, India played 24 Olympic matches, winning all 24, scoring 178 goals and conceding only 7.

After 28 consecutive victories in the Olympic Games, India lost 0-1 to Pakistan in the final at the Rome Olympics in 1960, but regained its 'Golden' status in the next Olympics. But...

then started the real trouble.



Thereafter, we had to be smug with Bronze, Bronze, and then no medal at all. With the sole exception of 1980 Moscow Olympics, Indian Hockey was virtually thrown out of Olympic games. Though initially there was a hue and cry, India quickly got accustomed to playing qualifying games (initially thought to be "insulting" to a team which has a glorious past) just to get into the Olympics as IHF started playing with the game more unabashedly.

This time, Had India won the crucial match against China in Asian Games 2006, it could have reached the finals and there would not be any need for playing the qualifying matches. But it didn't happen.

Had it won the final match against England yesterday,... But it didn't happen either.

As usual, blame game starts which is played more fervently than the game itself, one or two heads will fall and Indian Hockey will rest in peace. Amen!

42 comments:

The Eternally Confused... said...

Hmm, sad that the fate of our national game has come to this. But then who is to blame. Primarily in my opinion, the Govt.

There was a time when the opponent team snatched off dhyanchands hockey stick and sent it to extensive probing. They thought he had magnets affixed to it!!!

From there where are we today?

When the concept of the international hockey changed to grass hockey what did the govt do to build such tracks for our people to practise? What is the incentive for the yearning hockey players today? Is the media interested? No. Are sponsors interested? No. Does the board do anything to woo them. No.

In this manner, do you really expect the face of hockey to change anytime soon?

--
Emotional outburst for hockey set aside, I am really very happy to see you back on your blogspot. Hope the posts keep coming in too.

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