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The pursuit for sporting excellence

by IT Web Admin
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After what seems to be an exhaustive wait, the curtains have once again been raised for the world’s most anticipated sporting extravaganza- the 31st edition of the Olympic Games at Rio, Brazil. The world will, for a few days at least, turn its collective attention to the exploits of the finest athletes and sportsmen in the world. While the spectators will be feasting on the extraordinary show of talents and skills being displayed by the competitors spanning 39 events over sixteen days, for the athletes, it is a display of the culmination of years of the relentless pursuit for sporting excellence- a trial of strength, character, discipline and determination and an opportunity to push oneself beyond the acceptable and expected limits- hence the motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). Being in the Olympics is the ultimate hope for any athlete, and winning a medal at the Olympics a realization of the wildest dream. But the dream every athlete dream is unlike the ones ordinary humans do. They have to dream without sleeping, to carry their dream every breathing moment, and to subjugate everything else towards its realization.
But to realize the dream of an Olympic medal, the sheer determination and relentless effort of an athlete alone is not enough. For a sportsperson to be the best in the world and perform at its peak, a well orchestrated and synchronized support system needs to be in place working around the clock to make sure that the athlete can focus on the single goal of improving and bettering the techniques, skills and physical abilities to perfection. This is where the country, and indeed the state regarded as the sporting powerhouse of the country come up dismally short. The fault lies not in the total absence of such a system, but rather in the inability to organize and implement such a system in time and in the correct manner. Time, or rather age is the greatest enemy of an athlete, and the time period during which the best athlete can maintain performing at the top is very limited.
Showering accolades, prizes, awards and other material and moral incentives is all very good- an effective enticement and encouragement for youngsters to follow suit. There is however the apparent lack of enthusiasm or interest in shoring up a sporting culture at the grassroot level in the country including our very own state. One very important and influencing factor for such an unfortunate situation is the existence of duality of interests in the sporting management. Almost all the sporting events have, at the least, two state level associations or organizations claiming the right to govern or administer their respective events. Manipur Olympic Association, the apex state body entrusted with the important task of promoting and regulating sporting events included in the Olympics in the state have allowed the rot to fester by refusing to put its foot down and take a strict stand in resonance of its parent national body. On the contrary and reflecting the ignorant or dismissive mentality of the individuals running the show in the state, emphasis has continued to be given towards personal ties and future political prospects totally unrelated to sports. Such continued disregard for the real concerns and pressing issues are raising uncomfortable questions regarding the progress and well-being of sports and sportspersons of the state in the days to come. There is only black and white, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in sports. Ambiguities and personal favours should not be allowed to creep in if sports and sportspersons of the state are to have any fighting chance of excelling at the international arena.         

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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