The Indian Contingent may not have won medals at the Olympics but there are many who definitely won our hearts.Here are a few stories that are worth a share from Rio 2016:
Dipa Karmakar became India’s first female gymnast to qualify for the quadrennial mega event after 52 years. What makes her stand out from the rest is that she is one of the five women that have successfully landed the deadly Produnova Vault(also called the death Vault) in the competition. The Vault is so risky that if not executed perfectly , it can cost the gymnast his/her life or in other cases ,fatal injuries for the rest of their lives. In Rio 2016, she narrowly missed out on the bronze medal by finishing 4th in the finals of the event. Watching her perform gave us an adrenaline rush on the eve of Independence.
- BHOKANAL DATTU BABAN
Dattu was the only Indian rower to qualify for Rio Olympics.What makes his story worth a share is the circumstances he had gone through before reaching this pinnacle platform of sports. Dattu grew up amidst water scarcity in Maharashtra. He dropped out of school after class 10, often helping his father in farming and digging wells to earn money. At a very young age he lost his father to cancer , so he joined the army to earn a living . It was in the army that one of the officials suggested him to take up Rowing professionally. As keen as he was to take up Rowing professionally, what held him back was his HYDROPHOBIA! Determined to the core , he over came his fears and now Dattu Bhokanal fought brave at Rio Games, while his mother was in the hospital recovering from severe brain injuries .
Bindra has been a sports icon ever since his historic first olympic medal for India in 2008 which made the sports patriots of the country raise their hopes for his shooting event. However, Bindra finished fourth in 10m air rifle event.This sportsperson accepted his defeat in a very dignified manner (its the ruthless and callous Shobhaa De tweets we are talking about) .However, it has been reported that Bindra fell down along with his gun from the chair and as a result the ‘sight’ of his rifle broke , ’sight’ is the one of the most essential part of the rifle.
4.MEN FIELD HOCKEY TEAM
The Indian Hockey Team gave a bumper start to Rio Olympics where they won from Ireland,followed by the defeat from Germany and a win from Argentina on Day 4. However, they could not make it to the semi finals owing it to their defeat from Belgium. The boys seem to have pumped the hockey spirit back into the country by reaching at the stage where it could eye the semi-finals berth after 36 years. Inspite of the lack of facilities required for the sport, the team managed to make us believe that Indian hockey team is definitely to watch out for ahead. Chak De!
This long distance runner hails from a small village in Maharashtra.As a youngster, she ran four kilometres every day to her school. She ran barefoot and on all kinds of roads and later she ran for money when her villagers defied her to do so. Lalita became the first Indian woman to qualify for an individual Olympic track event final since PT Usha did so in the 1984 Games.She finished 10th in women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase race.
This 21-year old turned out to be one of the most precious player in rejuvenating India’s quest for medal at Rio Games.However, this badminton champion had put her sweat and blood to give out this performance. Sindhu does not spend her time like the other kids of her age. Sindhu’s father is a railway employee and a former volleyball player. Sindhu’s father had taken an eight-month leave before the Rio Games, as his daughter trained for a maiden Olympics appearance. During this period, he drove his daughter to her training academy at 4 am every morning.It is rather true when they say that it takes a team to make a single sportsperson.
6.MANEESH SINGH RAWAT
Rawat is a 25 year old who represented India in Men’s 20 km walk.However,this athlete has a great story to tell.Manish Singh was a landless agricultural labourer and worked as a part time waiter.He used to get up at 4 in the morning to train. People at his hometown, Uttrakhand would laugh at him and make his videos when he used to practice, because race walkers had to adopt a very funny posture. He lost his father when he was in class 10 and had the responsibility of 6 family members on his little shoulders.But this did not discourage him, in those days he practised in torn shoes.These obstacles did not fade his spirit and he finished 13th at Rio defeating : 4 former world champions, 3 Asian champions, 2 European champions and even 2 Olympic medallists!
These athletes might not have won medals a Rio but they definitely won our hearts .The stories of these athletes manifest that excuses are simply for those who are not determined enough to find their way out.The stories remind us to never give up on whatever we do in every walk of life .
A salute to the biggest ever Indian contingent participation at Rio!
Dont forget to comment if you know of more great stories of these Indian Olympians.
About The Author
Currently a student of UILS, PU,I did my schooling from Mayo,Ajmer. I love to travel, taste new food ,solve Sudoku and play hockey. Writing is my stress-buster!