Meanwhile, a nine-member team representing the state of Haryana arrived in Rio “to encourage the Haryana players.” However, the group, led by the state sports minister Anil Vij, has been noticeably absent at key events—even those involving their state’s athletes. Instead they were found sight-seeing and frolicking on Rio’s beaches.
I’m sure you’ve read cases of previous Indian olympians having to work roadside because the government doesn’t take care of them post retirement. Our athletes are also trained very poorly. sometimes with no equipment. The government cares so less they wouldn’t even bother giving them the proper jerseys, resulting in athletes being disqualified. I mean, really? And perhaps the greatest atrocity, some athletes were even denied physios! If you treat them like trash, you better expect nothing better than trash performances.
A writer named Ainee Nizami wrote a pretty compelling apology to the athletes, so I’m going to quote her to show you what I mean.
“We will start by apologising for the way we treated you on the plane – snatching away business class seats from those of you who needed the comfort the most, and instead allotting it to corporate babus who tagged along on the pretext of cheering you. Yes, someone genuinely thought that they needed to be more comfortable than you, and for that we are extremely sorry. We also need to put in a word of apology for all the seats being taken up by our politicians, and officers, instead of being allocated to your coaches and physiotherapists.
Sorry for not yet being a nation that understands that the Olympics goes far beyond gold, silver, and bronze. For not appreciating the struggle that you put in, just to train everyday, sometimes without any equipment, money, and encouragement. We failed to understand that many of you didn’t even have the resources to own a decent pair of shoes, and yet you have managed to come so far, proving your worth as the best of the best this country has to offer.”