The calendar year of 2016 will draw to a close in less than a week. The biggest sporting event of the year was without question Rio Olympics. India were expected to do much better than they actually did. We here ponder over what it was, what it could have been and what it was not to be. They expected much better than a mere two medals, a silver and a bronze. It is one third of the medals won in 2012 and even one less than the number in 2008. What exactly went wrong, you may ask. Well truth be told, India have never quite shaped up for any of the Olympic Games.
The truth is that India have never won even two gold medals at any Olympics. With that sort of a record, you know things are messy. What happened in Rio was not out of the ordinary. It was pretty much par for the course. There was one disappointment after the other and there is no doubt that the buzz now will be a lot lesser in Tokyo than what we saw in the lead up to Rio.
To be honest, there is only one takeaway from the Games. It is the fact that India were relying on hope more than on realistic expectations. While PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik did their bit and many other athletes came close, it is fair to say that at an official level, there was nothing but not having much accountability. (Sakshi Malik advocates for camps in foreign countries)
The fact that India did rejoice the medal wins is alright but there are not enough voices talking about why it has been such a disappointing Olympics for the country. There needs to be at least some introspection, so that we have the graph moving upwards. Rio showed that we have undone lots and if there was any progress made in Beijing or London, that is now history. There has been no progress in the last four years. That should disappoint many. Tokyo will bring hope but one would imagine that it will also keep expectations at a real level.