Saturday, August 20, 2016

BEYOND THE GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE







Pic.: Vinod Vazirani


“It is your response to winning and losing
that makes you a winner or a loser.”
- Harry Sheehy

Carolina Marin of Spain definitely played better than Sindhu, yesterday. So, she deserved the Gold.

And, our Sindhu?

I, too, watched the badminton (singles) Olympics finals, last evening (on my cell-phone), along with my wife. And, I did that like all my fellow-Indians and like all others who rooted for Sindhu. I wanted her to win… and, when she did win the first game, I felt immensely happy. But, then, I knew, somewhere along, that it would be Carolina… and not Sindhu.

That’s sports. True sports. The winner takes it all…

Well, this Post is not about winning and losing in Olympics. This is about that amazing quality called sportsmanship… which, our Sindhu, delightfully displayed after she lost that all-important contest, watched by millions of people, all over the world. It is that little gesture which Sindhu exhibited by going across to the winner, Carolina, who still lay flat on the court, her face buried with overwhelming joy… Sindhu walks to her and offers her hand to lift her gracefully… She congratulates her vanquisher and, as Carolina takes a victory lap, Sindhu picks Carolina’s racquet lying on the court and places near the Gold medalist’s bag…

When I saw this, last evening, I said to my wife with a lump in my throat, “This girl is so graceful in her defeat… She is the real winner, to me!”


People talk about winning medals. To me, medals are metals… They melt, they wither away… and, mark this: somebody, some day, will surely take them away from you, the winner. So, I don’t really make a big deal out of this medal business… however huge this business seems to be.

I was a massive fan of Carl Lewis, once. Today, I am an even bigger fan of Usain Bolt… And, yes of Michael Phelps, as well. Need I tell you the number of Golds these two guys have won during their Olympics career alone?

But, the Sun ‘will’ set on their empire, too. Someone, soon, ‘will’ take the glory away from them… and, I will have new heroes to worship.

Let me come back to our Sindhu’s sportsmanship gesture. Did she learn it from Gopichand Academy?


For 21-year-old Sindhu, it must have taken loads and loads of sweat and tears to accomplish whatever she has. But, I repeat, it takes a Gladiator’s heart to behave like a true sports-girl, which she did, last evening...

With pride and respect!


GERALD D’CUNHA

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