OLYMPICS is just concluding. It brought joy to some disappointments to others. Nationalistic fervour runs high, media is gung ho about it and sports which were rarely discussed in last four years get noticed again. 

Like other dramas of life it too has its share of controversies, larger than life stories, learning’s and excitement. What catches your attention?

It all depends on how you see it. I observed a few things and thought of sharing them:

It’s not necessarily the highest ranked, most skilled person who wins. What also matters is:

– Mental strength and how you deal with pressure at the moment which counts. You need the skill of course so yet there are 8-10 others who have the same abilities and possibly more. 

– How strong is your intent. Do you see yourself as the winner

– How important it is it to you? For an athelete it is a once in 4 years chance to showcase oneself whereas for a tennis player Wimbledon round be a greater motivation and with greater financial benefit.

– It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old you will all get opportunities  of winning 

– Weight of expectations is higher on top ranked players. They face extra burden inspite of the skills. How you deal with this matters and more free and natural you are performing your task and enjoying it the more the chances of success.

– Consistency matters. Performing well sporadically even if it was greater level than others, may not stand same chance as one who consistently performs under all circumstances and regularly 

– Destiny or Luck/ Circumstances matter too. Though for this you need right intent, skills, consistency, self care then only you get it.

Let me give you example in sports where Indians excelled or didn’t perform as per expectations.

– Neeraj Chopra the javelin gold medal winner was not the highest ranked player. He was young and energetic, yet positive and unruffled with pressure of situation. He had been very consistent especially this year. 
– Vetter the favourite had thrown nearly 10 metres more than him as his all time best. He had been consistent too this year throwing over 90 meters ‘though not in last 2 months’. His record in big events earlier had also not been great. While throwing he was getting disturbed by some long distance runners. He also seemed bit injured.As you know he couldn’t reach top 8 ( was ranked 9th) and missed 3 more chances he could have could have got otherwise.

– There were few others who were ranked higher than Neeraj and had performed well in big events earlier. Yet few due to injuries couldn’t participate or others performed poorly in qualification round and didn’t teach final round.

– Neeraj too was injured in 2019 yet due to delay in olympics got ample time to recover 

– Bronze medal was won by a 38 years veteran who wasn’t expecting medal and throwing mediocre throws yet got a good one and in disbelief got a medal

– Whereas in other sport’s where Indians were favourite and had won gold in other tournaments performed much below par and didn’t even win medal

– A 34 year badminton player who had never reached top 16 of any big tournament reached semi final.

– Novak Djokovic who looked unbeatable in the 4 big tennis tournaments lost early so too Momota.

The question also is what is success or victory here:

– Bronze is more satisfying than silver since you won the last match and at least secured a medal

– Is victory just winning medal or how you performed vis a vis your expectations 

– Like Swamiji said in recent post there will always be a change the gold medal winner next time due to age/ intent/ circumstances / new found weight of expectation not perform the same and new winner will take his place. People would also quickly forget the old one and start praising the new winner. Decline phase then starts soon just like the Indian men’s hockey team faced and had to wait for 41 years for the ascent to start again. The cycle continues with the ups and downs , with individual perceptions of wins and losses. Does it matter – don’t know just enjoy the fun and do best you can . That’s what matters probably ?

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Kapil Nautiyal

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