Monday, August 25, 2008


Recently, Mark spitz’s 36 years of record of seven gold medals was broken by his fellow American, and swimmer Michael Phelp. When he powered the US team to gold in the 4x100 m relay. He has taken eight gold medals in a single Olympic. Phelp’s tally of gold medals now stands at 14, which is a highest gold medal in Olympic history.
Now the question is arising that whether Phelp is the greatest Olympian ever. If you go by numbers alone, Phelp is way ahead of the other greats like Spitz, Carl Lewis and Pauva Nurmi who all had won nine gold medals. May be, Phelp will get more gold, as he plans to take part in the 2012 Olympic.
Why the countries like china, US, and UK is able to get gold medals as compare to other countries...may be u will say that they are developed countries, so they have better facilities and excellence in them. In my opinion, I would rather say, because they are in a system which is focused on sporting excellence, and does not force athletes to perform. When Phelp was seven years old, he joined a swimming club in Baltimore under the wings of coach bob bowman, Spitz too begin at a local club at Santa Clara in California. Local clubs, along with schools and universities are the backbone of Americans sporting success. Athletes from several other countries also train in American university as did Serbia’s Milorad cavic, who came second to Phelp in the 100 m butterfly event. There are poorer countries that are following this model. The fastest man on earth, Jamaica’s Usain bolt who won the 100 m sprint in record time, along with a host of other top class sprinters such as Asafa powell train at the island’s university of technology on a scholarship programs.
India must borrow the leaf from such schemes, while we should look at china’s example of focusing on a few disciplines, we must build up an institutional structure that is not dependent on the government. Indian shooter, Abhinav bindra who won gold medal and Vijendra kumar and Sushil kumar who won the bronze madel in boxing and wrestling respectively, doing so well in Olympics, learnt their skill in local clubs before getting sponsorship from private trusts. So there are plenty of good Olympian talents waiting to be tapped.

Mohammed Farhan Khan

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