For over 100 years, since 311 players representing 13 nations marched into a marble stadium at Athens in 1896, where thousands of young men and women around the globe dream to enter the arena to compete into a ‘friendly’ competition for ‘honour’ and ‘glory’ of sport. Today, though the athletes representing a nation have a wide range of gains on winning and also on a mere participation, but the feeling of honour remains the same.
Participation at Games itself earns athlete a respect. A win, of-course, is a larger-than-life feeling. Champions of the Olympics bring honour to themselves, and to their Nation. The state of mind that an athlete experiences while he is in the arena, the atmosphere is just unique. Once every four years numerous athletes arrive and participate to recognize their dream of getting a medal, to find a platform, where their lifetime hard work, persistence and sacrifice will be paid off.
Winning an Olympic medal represents excellence and perfection. India sensed glory for the first time in 1952 when Wrestler K.D. Jadhav made a breakthrough with a bronze followed by tennis champion Leander Paes’s third place in 1996 and weightlifter Karnam Malleswari’s similar effort in 2000. The victory of Jesse Owens in 1936 Berlin was inspirational across boundaries. The way he inhibited physical odds and racial discrimination made him one ideal athlete in history. Olympic Games not only display sporting talent but also cast the lessons in humanity and landmarks in history.
As only a few hours are left, let’s all gear up for the largest sporting event in the world, and get a chance to experience and discover the courage and stamina, which an Olympic athlete pursue. And develop an Olympic spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play.