In a cricket-crazy nation like ours, Rio Olympics came like a whiff of fresh air for the Indian sports fanatics. A 120 member contingent represented India at the Olympics this year, and let’s not even discuss the excitement and enthusiasm it instilled! Despite the often pessimistic and sexist coverage by the Indian media, there was clearly a buzz around this year’s games. While India closed the medal tally with one bronze and one silver, the past two weeks were full of highs and lows for our athletes at Rio.
Here are 11 of the most memorable moments Indian fans cherished at the Rio Olympics.
3. When Dipa Karmakar united a whole nation in pride as she performed the ‘Produnova’ or ‘Death Vault’ at the Olympics, and finished fourth in style. Psst: Only 4 other women in the world can perform the ‘Produnova’.
4. When 18-year-old golfer Aditi Ashok stormed into the golf finals, after taking up the sport professionally only 8 months ago! She was also the only Indian female golfer at the Olympics.
5. When Dattu Bhokanal finished 4th in the men’s single sculls event. Dattu wasn’t aware of the Olympics 4 years ago and he worked as a stone-cutter in a Maharashtra village for 10 years, where he used to fear water!
6. When Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna gave it their all to beat Andy Murray and Heather Watson to enter the tennis mixed doubles semis. They didn’t make it to the finals but their performance was a sheer treat.
9. When Yogeshwar Dutt made it to the finals in the men’s 65 kg wrestling event despite multiple injuries and a severely wounded eye. There was not a single moment when he didn’t inspire.
10. When Kidambi Srikanth lost the quarter-final match, but not his spirit. “I gave everything and tried everything I know. #iamteamindia”he said on Facebook.
11. The 2008 Beijing Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra finished fourth in the 10m air rifle event, despite the fact that he had to use a backup rifle since the one he had practised with got damaged. If this doesn’t portray his awesomeness enough, I don’t know what else ever would!