Game on, but who should I follow?
So, are you bored of all the bad news coming out of the Commonwealth Games?When the negative stories began breaking, in newspapers and on television, the curiosity value was high. After all, nothing sells like scandal, whether it’s from the world of politics, Bollywood or sport.
Then, the stream became a deluge, and it was not so funny anymore. While the odd rotten egg in the system is a person to be laughed at, preferably sacked and forgotten, to be bombarded with stories on scams, incompetence, lies and deception tests the patience of even the most avid sports fan.
In the beginning, it was easy to look past the marketing line that Commonwealth Games organisers tried to sell. It’s all about national pride, it’s something that will show the world what India are capable of, they said. Then, it seemed a thinly disguised attempt at justifying bringing a hugely expensive event comprising games that not too many people in the country were crazy about in the first place.
Now, it’s even worse, as the prospect of the organisers embarrassing India in front of the whole world seems more and more likely. The hope that the Games will be conducted in a safe, glitch-free and exciting manner seem remote. Already, newspapers in countries whose athletes are expected to take part, are reporting gleefully how venues are not ready and how the rain is causing the city to fall apart.
The only silver lining, could come from India’s athletes. If they put up a strong showing – and even optimists only rate the home country’s chances as a 3rd or 4th place in the medals tally – they can restore some dignity to an event that has been marred by controversy.
That said, it’s not as though the organisers are treating India’s medal prospects especially well. There’s plenty wrong with the system when it comes to training and preparation, but this is nothing new. It’s upto the athletes to perform, despite the system rather than because of it.