Bright stars - GulfToday

Bright stars


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

The Indian Paralympic participants, who have harvested a record 19 medals, deserve the loudest applause the country can shower on them. Their achievements are laudable. Besides excelling at a game, they also had to overcome some personal disability. They turned their frailty into strength.  

The new hunger for Olympic medals, in many countries, will spur the young to break new barriers and excel. It will make them stretch in life and reach beyond their current capabilities. An Olympic recognition stands out tall like a coconut tree on a CV. Youngsters in developing countries should seize the opportunity, to train themselves.

The decision and the effort to win an Olympic medal can transform a person, even if the person is competing in the Paralympics. The determination to win an Olympic medal requires courage. It is a decision to be the best of the bestest in the world. Then, follows the training and development. This can mean years of solitude, concentration and sheer labour. It also means fastidious levels of self-discipline in terms of diet, exercise, loneliness and time away from family. It requires single minded focus. Many of the coaches, do not permit the competitors to talk to their families for months, so that they do not get distracted by family issues. The sacrifice and self-discipline are exacting. So, the players deserve the ovation and the cash prizes showered on them, when they win an Olympic medal.

Aspiring for an Olympic medal is one of the purest forms of human endeavour. For a medal comes out of untainted achievement and merit. Medals are not awarded on the basis of country, colour of skin, tribe, creed, affluence or who your father or family is. It is pure excellence. If you are first in the race, even by one-twentieth of a second, you are first.

Rajendra Aneja — Mumbai, India

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