Beyond India’s Cricket Obsession, Do Other Athletes Get Support To Go Out And Win?

Posted on August 18, 2016 in Sports

By Saswati Chatterjee:

The current thing dominating national news is India’s thin pickings at the Rio Olympics: 13 days in and we only have 1 medal to show for it – Sakshi Malik in wrestling. Several questions have come to the fore with this issue, and many people are thinking: Is sports not given enough importance in India?

Well, when we say ‘sports’ in India, let’s leave cricket out of it because if anything, cricket suffers from the opposite problem: there’s too much of it. It’s great that cricket gets the support it does, but for heaven’s sake, even our national sport suffers because of this neglect.

And it’s not just that the public’s attention is constantly on cricket. Most of our other athletes are neglected by the administration. There is the infamous case of gymnast Dipa Karmakar not being allowed to take a personal physiotherapist with her to Rio despite the fact that gymnasts are susceptible to injuries a physio is needed for (later, a physiotherapist was rushed to her when she qualified in the Vault finals). Sprinter Dutee Chand was forced to travel in cramped economy class to the Rio Olympics while the officials accompanying her travelled in cushy business class seats. Cricketers are treated like celebrities, while other athletes are neglected and forgotten.

With this in mind, we asked our community the question:

Rio Olympics FB question

And here are some of the answers we received:

Shazia Manzoor

There is no support neither from media nor from country….it becomes hard especially for women bcoz they don’t have even their parents support……today China answered this statement…I think now Indian government n people should support…….All the best India….

Anubhav Shankar

Just paying attention to a very poignant statement which Dipa Karmarkar said : I hope my efforts help people distinguish between artistic gymnastics and circus. This is the level of awareness people have about Olympic level sports, now the blame for this obviously lies with media coverage and general public apathy. Till the time Indians don’t temper their obsession with cricket nothing can change

Nikhil Kumar

People are only obsessed about cricket & they have nothing to do with other games but now its high time media as well as our govt. should play a vital role and promote other game so that people get to know that there are other games too & its more interesting than “CRICKET”..

Lyngdoh Tambor S.

no. because cricket has somehow become a money maker even though it is so boring. these other sports should be protected from similar intrusion. even if we have to wait 100 years for a medal we should wait. privatizing olympic sports is not the way.

Arvind Madan

See cricket is so well managed because of BCCI, they generate so much money and put it back into the sports, so a rich and effecient sports body is necessary for any sportmen to shine.

Yeshfin Idris

No, Make sports as a compulsory subject in schools so, it can became a beneficial support for sports field.

Karthika S Nair

Due to cricket frenzy, no other sport just as much importance.

Shashi Kumar Das

No support. Because of govt’s apathy.

L. Melody Singh

We can do better next time… It’s easy to give comments but in reality it’s very hard

If anything, Rio Olympics should be a wake-up call for just how much more support our athletes need! Tweet to the Sports Minister today and urge for action:

To Sports Minister @VijayGoelBJP, why don’t sportspersons except cricketers get support? #DoYourJob