Monday, June 14, 2004

An insult to our athletes

Today, the Olympic Torch has reached Brazil on its journey to Athens. NDTV news had footage of Pele carrying it through Rio de Janeiro, surrounded by thousands of fans. Several footballers were similarly honoured, along with other athletes and famous Brazilians. Last week, the torch was in India. A host of celebrities carried it, but surprisingly few sportspeople. Famous athletes like P.T. Usha, Milka Singh and Prakash Padukone were ignored in favour of Bollywood stars. It's insulting to see Aishwarya Rai and Bipasha Basu being given the privilege of running with the torch, especially when they're so unused to running that it appears they're going to fall over from exhaustion.

If they're going to represent a country which treats them so shamefully, why would children want to take up sports as a career? Inadequate facilities, poor training, incompetent selectors... and people wonder why a nation the size of India never seems to win medals at the Olympics!

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