Without a doubt, 2016 was a great year for sports in India. Rio Olympics played a great role in making people understand that there exists a world beyond cricket, and you don’t have to be a cricketer to be a sportsperson. Time and again we’ve seen the craze in people regarding the game. While it’s good to have be passionate about something, it is also insensitive towards other athletes who are working hard to bring into light their sports.
Let’s just agree to the fact that we’ve all at some point being completely ignorant games other than cricket. Cricket world cup was a worldwide phenomenon for us, hockey was not. This drastically changed with Rio Olympics which is why we will never be able to thank it enough. Starting with the quest for gold, when Indian athletes weren’t able to clinch medals at the Olympics, the idea of them not having equal opportunities struck our minds. Thanks to internet, we came to know how the government (and us equally) have been paying less attention to the other athletes.
Sakshi Malik clinching the Bronze medal at women’s wrestling, P V Sindhu’s brilliant performance in the women’s single badminton, Dipa Karmakar’s journey in the Gymnastic vaults, and every other athlete’s struggle towards making a mark in the Rio Olympics, people started noticing them for the first time. It was a cry for appreciation, and this time, they made sure we paid attention.
The state of sports in India is pretty messed up. Biopics and movies on sports personalities started gaining more ground to bring to light the plight of Indian athletes, an inspiring story of unsung heroes that needed immediate attention. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was the first one to bring to the audience an inspiring story of Mr. Milkha Singh, who made us feel proud. Mary Kom, Saala Khadoos, Sultan were all blockbuster movies that made people aware about these brilliant people who are equally important as any other cricketer and it’s high time we start respecting them.
On the National Sports Day, we would like to thank each and every sportsperson who has gone out of their way to make us all feel proud and happy for their achievements. Thanks to all of you for breaking all stereotypes and cutting loose from the society and it’s rules. You’re the real heroes, all of you.
Happy National Sports Day!