New Delhi: Amidst ecstatic celebration surrounding Indian athletes Sindhu and Sakshi who bagged medals at the Rio Olympics 2016, the rest of the Indian athletes are being ignored – their relentless hard work cannot be celebrated unless it has resulted in a medal.
PV Sindhu who arrived to pandemonium in Telangana after winning a silver medal in the women's tennis final was grandly felicitated for her achievement. However, her athletic companions whose audacity resulted in qualification in the world's toughest challenge arrived to an empty airport with no one to console them for their effort.
Paddler Sharath Kamal had this to say about the poor reception, "Only when we get medals do we get one (reception). No receiving happens when you lose early."
Athletes who endure the harsh reality of how tough and competitive the world of Olympics are further discouraged by their country's lack of enthusiasm for losers.
“I realized that I was probably a rat among the lions (athletes) from other parts of the world. It was an eyeopener and I'm glad to have endured such an experience at the start of my career. I understood the massive difference in the effort that we guys had put on to merely qualify for the event [and the effort of] those who set records over here," said Mohan, one of the athlete who competed in the men's 4x400 relay team.
Triple jumper Renjith Maheswary disappointedly said this, "I landed in Chennai on August 19. No officials were there to receive me. I was in good shape, tried my best but things didn't go well on that particular day."
The disparity in the treatment being meted out to losing athletes undermines the gross inefficiency in achievement that disparages them from working hard in the long-run.