With a rather unique and flamboyant closing ceremony, where Japan’s Prime Minister made an appearance as Super Mario, the widely viewed Olympic Games of 2016, held in Rio, came to their conclusion. While Rio 2016 proved to be hugely successful for countries such as the USA, Great Britain and China, India lagged far, far behind with a tally of 2 medals- 4 short of the tally of 6 at London 2012. That’s less than one medal per 50 billion people, a statistic representative of the dire situation India’s approach for the Olympics is in.
The entire nation had to endure a painful spell of almost 2 weeks in anticipation of its first medal at the Olympics of 2016, which Sakshi Malik duly delivered when she beat Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the bronze medal match. Soon to follow were the heroics of PV Sindhu, who wrestled her way through to the finals of women’s badminton, where she lost out on the Gold to Spain’s Carolina Marin in 3 sets in what was a brutally fought encounter.
Their respective state governments were prompt in announcing monumental prizes for them, with Haryana government committing Rs. 2.5 Crore and a government job to Malik and Telangana government committing Rs. 5 Crore to Sindhu, to mention the significant ones. However, being from India, we realize that this is just the beginning of such announcements, with many more poised to follow in the time to come. The lives of these two messiahs of India have truly changed forever, with cash prizes, celebrity status and endorsements galore waiting for them in the shadows. One has to then wonder; had similar amounts been invested in the build-up to Rio 2016, would these two still be the only two medal-winners from all of India? Let us know your thoughts below.