“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”
Michael Phelps has stood by his words at the Rio Olympic Games. All eyes are set on him when he enters the pool.
The record-breaking swimmer has captivated the attention of not just the US but also the world. On Tuesday night, he celebrated a double triumph after winning his 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals in the Men’s 200m butterfly and as anchor of Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
Phelps just keeps adding medals, after all, he has found something that he loves and has since then, never given up.
The first week of the Summer Games has seen quite a few unexpected turns, heartbreaks, and historic moments for athletes around the world.
For New Zealanders, the first medal came from Natalie Rooney in women’s trap shooting—a silver after Australian Catherine Skinner made her way to win a thrilling 12–11 in the finals. Next up was the women’s rugby team who settled for silver as well.
Once again the success of the bigger countries highlights India’s weakness at any Olympics.
The statistics speak for themselves: the United States and China—the medal tally leaders—have more than 400 participants at the Games, while India has only 121. Even little New Zealand has almost 200 athletes in Rio.
Indians have had it hard so far. Luck hasn’t favoured them as they lose out on opportunities of getting the Olympic gold.
India, the world’s second most populous country, has been taking part in the Olympics since 1900 and does not have many medals to its credit.
One reason for this shortcoming is the fact that Indian parents give more emphasis to academic, and not enough to active pursuits. Sport is for recreational purposes only.
Another reason for the poor showing is the country’s obsession with just one sport—cricket.
India’s sports authorities would do well to pay more attention to the development of its young people on the sports field, and try and change the mentality that work and education are the only livelihoods.
However, in Rio this year, all is not lost. Gymnast Dipa Karmakar scripted history when she became the first woman to make it to the Olympic final. Hopes are high from the 23-year- old who will compete on Sunday, August 14.
Spotlight on Rio
Months leading up the event, Rio made headlines across every major newspaper, criticised for its lack of preparation for the Summer Games. Amid protests, a government upheaval, security scares, and the Zika virus, the Games continue; much like the athletes who have crossed hurdles on their road to Rio.
But the looming question still remains: will the Olympics make things better or worse for Rio? The real impact on the host city will probably be seen long after the curtains are drawn.
Back in India, the country is set to celebrate its 70th Indian Independence Day on August 15—day when patriotic hearts in India and beyond its borders beat as one.
On the local front, in our last issue, we spoke about how the National Government’s changes to its KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme will affect you. In our current issue, we ask experts for their take on the amendments made to the scheme.