If the Harry Potter world was real and I was a part of the magical universe and not this muggle world, the newspapers would probably scream out news about who escaped from Azkaban or who won Quidditch championships! But here in muggle world, the newspapers continue to report the happenings at the Rio Olympics 2016.
Every newspaper today screams of the achievements of two Indian women – Sakshi Malik (who won the first medal for India in this season + is the first Indian woman to win a medal in wrestling at the Olympics) and PV Sindhu (who will play today against World No.1 Carolina Marin in the final match of women’s Badminton singles at Rio). These two women have made this country proud. While America and China are busy counting the number of medals they’ve won, we Indians are replaying the two matches that put us on the sports-map again!
Too many points of view here…some articles talk about how hard these two have worked to come so far, some articles focus on their parents’ reactions, some focus on looking forward to today’s match to see if Sindhu can win a gold for India in the badminton finals, some talk about how the girl child has saved the day for India!
Yes, there were two spectacular matched played. Sakshi Malik found her way back into the game after a 5-0 situation and eventually won with an 8-5, all in the last minute of the match. Sindhu established her dominance from that first smash she hit against Okuhara in the semi-final but after a tricky first set and a few errors early in the second set to her disappointment, she picked up her pace and hit that winning smash! Two women who stood tall, against all odds to win the hearts of all Indians.
What stood out for me in these matches –
After Sakshi won her medal, her coach gave her the tricolour and picked her up on his shoulder to walk the length of the wrestling arena celebrating her spirit and the almost-impossible victory. After Sindhu won her match and screamed to ascertain herself that she had indeed made it to the finals, her coach gave her an endearing hug.
The relentless efforts in training these women to achieve these heights, the unending support when it seemed like their run was difficult or over, the continuous advice showered on the player during the game, the ‘come-on’ on every point won and the ‘it’s alright, it happens’ on every point lost…and finally the smile when their ward made them proud! The Coach deserves more mention than he usually gets.
And before I sign off here and let you go, let me quote Herb Brooks, the most successful American men’s Ice Hockey team coach – “You were born to be a Player. You were meant to be Here. This Moment is Yours!” – Now that’s what a Coach sounds like!!!