India at Beijing Olympics 2008

Olympics 2008 got underway at Beijing as the city welcomed the world to the29th Olympic Games at Bird’s Nest Stadium on August 8 with an Opening Ceremony that began at 8:00 p.m

Here are a few things about this years Beijing Olympics

Bird’s Nest is Beijing’s national stadium which took four years to build. Beijing Olympics would be held from August 8-24. The slogan for the games is “One World One Dream”. The official logo for the games is titled “Dancing Beijing”. It is estimated that there are around 1,00,000 volunteers for the games which is the highest ever compared to the past.

India at Beijing Olympics 2008
India at Beijing Olympics 2008

Some of the performers Indians could watch out for in the Beijing Olympics are :

Rajyavardhan Rathore – Shooting(Double Trap Men)

Rajyavardhan Rathore - Shooting
Rajyavardhan Rathore - Shooting

Anju Bobby George – Athletics (Long Jump)

Anju Bobby George - Athletics - Long Jump
Anju Bobby George - Athletics - Long Jump

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati – Tennis (Mens Doubles)

Leander Paes - Tennis
Leander Paes - Tennis
Mahesh Bhupati - Tennis
Mahesh Bhupati - Tennis

Dinesh Kumar – Boxing (-81 kg category)

Dinesh Kumar - Boxing
Dinesh Kumar - Boxing

Sania Mirza – Tennis (Womens Singles)

Sania Mirza - Tennis
Sania Mirza - Tennis

In a country like India the adulation and following received by cricket is unparalleled as compared to other sports which are always at the periphery when it comes to following. These are the sports such as Wrestling, tennis, Archery, Athletics which are taken to in other countries compared to cricket which is played only by a handful of countries and that is one of the primary reasons for India faring badly at the Olympics. If you want a reality check try recollecting the name of an Indian athlete or an Indian boxer in the recent past who did the country proud!

The sad part is that the awareness about Olympics and debates on it come out of the closet just before and after the games. But what happens during the 4 years of recess? Athletes and sportsmen practice in anonymity, striving hard with circumstances pertaining to their sport and society while their counterparts in more glamorous games like cricket and tennis steal all the limelight. It is a struggle everyday for each of these athletes who look for support from their family, society and the government. Lack of proper training facilities, coaches, gear and equipments compounds their malady even further. But despite all these odds stacked against them they do surface in National events still trying, to get a berth in the Olympic squad and do justice to the years of toil and efforts put in anonymity.

All the efforts of these valiant athletes who overcome all sorts of odds (inferior training facilities, lack of funds, no support from the Govt.) are buried under the lack of interest of an entire nation interested only in cricket. It is heartening, however, to see the efforts of certain Organizations in promoting these neglected sports in India.

The statistics of Indian participants at the Beijing Olympics courtesy:

Statistics and inputs on Beijing Olympics courtsey:

NDTV 24*7

Published by Kartik Subramaniam

A dreamer of sorts & a Creative writer, passionate about reading diverse stuff.

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  1. It is really a shame that India is participating in a very few sporting events in such a mega event named Olympics. We who have shattered the hopes of many countries in hockey have found it difficult to “QUALIFY” in this event for the 2008 olympics. Is it something encouraging or to be cherished upon. Spending so much money on cricket is sometimes thought to be a waste. We in a country with many talents, fall shortage in sending sports persons into olympics. A serious thought needs to be given by all.

  2. Sunil,

    Inspite of being a hard core cricket fan i share your sentiments. It is indeed sad that our nation with second largest population in the world cannot even produce couple of gold medals in Olympics now. I would only say that its the policies of our Government which have led the entire nation to such a sad situation. Its high time we gave due importance to all the games that matter and to the players who toil so hard to make a name in them…its time we had some recog. in the world beside the dirty politics and bureocracy for which we are so famous…

  3. I think, we should follow Australian Model of sports. Once Australia failed to get any medal
    in olympic. They declared that as a national SHAME and opened ASI, which selects 700 or 7000 students from whole country and carry out their whole expenses of education, sports training and
    participation at different levels. So, every year lot of players come out.

  4. The problem lies not just in the indian system but also in the attitude of each indian.No one stops to think if we as viewers give more importance in watching other sports, by raising their TRP’s, we could help them. How many of us watch or even bother to read news about other sports. If we can invest time in watching and supporting them instead of spending long hours in front of TV for cricket/tennis maybe it will be a helping hand to them.

  5. Forget cricket and try to speak on any other game. Vikas who has written some point which are enough to make shamful as sportslover, but issue is how many time u and any other person whoever r felt sorry on indian performance in Olympics, had tried to take participation in any district level game,if u took part then why u left that game?(Boss Jinhe top per aana hota hai wo kisi fasility ke mohtaj nahi hote, Ex. Siana Nehwal(Bedminton),world ranking 15,without any controversy,just bcoz her performance,not supported by media) We cant blame only IOC, problems r with us only bcoz in lack of all sort of hi-tech trainning K.D.Jadhav HAd won bronje in Olympics.Karnam Malleswari is another example. Firstly each indian should anylyse his individual efforts for getting medal in olympics,then talk.
    I think abusing is simple……if u r feeling shameful, do something , & show the world that what kind of passion we indian have. Dont talk just do it.

  6. We indians tend to lean where there is monetary benefit. Cricket is considered a great sports and people are after it because of the money involved in it. Parents like to say their son is a cricket player rather than a swimmer or weightlifter or tabletennis players etc. The pride comes mainly of the monetary benefit and noone can deny that. Everyone wanted to be Doctors and engineer 20 or 3o years back, now everyone is after computer…why? better standard of living as a computer programmer. Give the same kind of money if someone wins a olympic gold medal, publicise his acheivement, make him and around feel great ,not just for a week after the olympics but as a liftime achievement. THat will make india get interested in olympics and the medals. Again, if fund is set aside for the sports , the mediators will gobble most of them. It’s the indian system and everyone needs to act unitely for the sake of India’s pride.

  7. No need to worry. India is growing and the time has come when the progress will be very fast. Once people are educated they will inspire their lads to choose their desired profession unlike past when parents just wanted their kids to become Doctors and Engineers only. Facilities are increasing and we just have to be little more optimistic. In universities also i have seen people play just get sports quota seats and the selection system for different sports events was horrible. Its just 60 years we got independence, its the time to realize that national pride is much beyond our image in front of developed countries.

  8. Everyone talks of India not performing well in Olympics and the nation spends more time and money on cricket – but let us ask ourselves – how many of us really play any game. Most of us do not. Probably played road side cricket with tennis ball. This is due to lack of interest, guts and also pressure from parents to study, study and more study. Most of us would have not played any game in the real sense – as said early only tennis ball cricket where one does not get hurt generally. Do we have the guts to play a game where the probability of getting hurt is higher than in a tennis ball cricket? Or do we really push our children to play games in the real sense – Games in this country is between 5.00 to 6.30 p.m and which means the children “do something outside the house”. After the invasion of the idiot box/internet even that has become a thing of the past. Further, there are no grounds where children can really play, even if they want to. So, why blame any one when the fault lies with each one of us. The associations are not doing a great job either. In short if you want sports person you will have to find them in smaller towns. For eg. Coorg (Karnataka) and Punjab produced world class hockey players for generations – what is the fate now? Swimmers can be got in villages where kids swim in rivers and ponds for hours – that is the only entertainment for them, Archers can be found in tribal areas where they learn it for survival and the list can go on. Anglo Indians have sports in their blood. All these people can be trained easily as they know the basics well and should be groomed. The men in charge should change their style of thinking and look for talent here; but unfortunately none wants to look beyond the Metros. So why regret?

  9. It is monetary reward that has pushed sports man/woman in many countries to excel. It is high time India with its growing wealth puts some money into sports other than cricket. Firstly all olympic medallists must be richly rewarded. Next if not the government, at least a responsible rich Individual should come forward to sponsor some aspiring sportsman. Indian Media should also cover sports other than cricket.
    Looking forward to the day when India wins some gold medals and makes all indians including NRIs proud.
    If India does not wish to invest in Sports then it should not aspire to host any games including Asian games.

  10. Children where ever found and who show interest in any sport should be encouraged and coached. This will lead to interest in the sport or game in the area from which the child comes and also bring in more fresh talent.

  11. With a billion Indians on the planet, why can’t we do better at the Olympics. Cricket is not an international sport and not an Olympic event. Why bother encouraging this as a national sport? It is a national waste of time.

    The next great Indian athlete is Somdev Devarrman, a two time U.S. NCAA collegiate tennis champion. Thank God he was able to come to the U.S. to further his athletic potential rather than waste it in India, where he gets no funding or support.

    I look at the Guiness Book of World Records, Indians are listed for having the longest fingernails, longest mustache, and ridiculous other bizarre achievements. Stop all that nonsense and encourage your children to participate in sports. The argument that Indian parents have that sports interferes with academics are unfounded. A healthy body encourages a healthy and energetic mind.

    The Indian government has to place importance in sports at an early age, in the public schools. Sports are more than just entertainment. It is a source of national pride and prestige. Indians need national heros. I reject that India is too poor to fund sports. Look at Brazil, a poor country and the world’s strongest soccer power. Most of the African countries are much poorer than India. We can and should do much better.

  12. The problem lies in the Corrupt Indian Politics that have way too much involment in selection of the athletes. India has enough funds to support funds but they are being spent on celebrating little successes of cricket teams and promoting film stats, including corrupted leaders.

  13. May be people should pull their fingers out and try and encourage a sport other than just cricket. Someone said our hockey team didn’t “Qualify”. We let it all happen! Agreed that politics has dogged almost everything we do, but we need to deal with it. We were good at hockey. Thats where we got our gold medals, Its our national Sport for ^#@&% sake, follow it better! and go watch the hockey league; pay for the tickets. this will buy endorsements for teams and players. Its easy for all of us to sit back and say why cant a country of one billion produce one gold medal. Its as simple as this – We are good at criticizing. We need to ask ourselves why we don’t follow other sport too? a game of hockey is far more intense than cricket, support the team no matter what, like you do with our cricket team that is really good on paper! How many people know Rehan Pooncha? how many have heard about Sebastian X’avier or Virdhawal Khade? Our swimmers have done well at the asian circuit for ages, but need better resources and exposure and endorsements to perform at higher levels. If we need to win more gold medals in the Olympics we need to treat our athletes as Professionals, and not as just some athlete. Our Governments also have to lift their act, if they care about the national pride! They want to host the Olympic games? we need to have more hopes of winning medals before we plan to host the games.

  14. what a shame for india!!! i am eagerly waiting for india on result board atleast for bronze………. but asusaul it is disappointing indians fans..
    there are many numerous talents in india but why they are not sending that people… im shame to be indian.. im now in singapore. all my other races friends making fun of india… i cant tolerat…at the same time i cant do anything to them cos majority is chinese…

  15. proof that theres talent, but its always under dogged! Gold in 10 m air Rifle ….. who would have guessed? these are the unsung heros of Indian Sport!

  16. nowdays our population crossing 120 crores, still we are not in a position to sending a people even hardly 100,this is really shameful for our country when compared to other small country.actually our government will not concentrate on olymbics and not giving a proper training(the guys are taking 3-4 months training before oloymbics then how can they get a medal).our guys r thinking participation is a big event,if it is like this still we have to watch the medal list india has 0 .hope in future the youngster will try as possible to list down india in medal list.jai hind

  17. India has finally made it thanks to Abhinav Bindra. Hearty Congratulations to Bindra. YOU ROCK !!!!! All you people who have considered a shame to be an indian, this is a wakeup call. Atleast please join in congratulating Bindra.

  18. It is very much essential for us to be take every sorts of sporting events seriously. Most of the time in our country we use to see it that only cricketers get more attention from all types of communities including media also. But that time has been left now, to be attain a prestigeous position in international scenerio we have to carry success in olympic sports mainly.If third world countries like China can do it then why we can’t?

  19. forget about 1 billion population. we always keep harping about it. What is the percentage of youth participating in active sport. Our society always keeps insisting on studies and other white collar jobs, and in many ways they are justified as so many sportsmen (other than cricketers) are struggling with their careers. Bring money, sponsorships and endorsements into sports and let the talented sportsmen make a career out of it.

    As far as encouragement, look around you. Other than metropolitan and big cities how many sportsmen enjoy modern facilities. Except the SAI and other sports hostel kids how many kids enjoy facilities like synthetic turf in hockey or athletics. In almost all cases they get a glimpse of it after they reach 18 or so. First of all the government should aim at building a base consisting of qualified, dedicated coaches with a professional attitude, with the minimum of modern facilities in most of the games in every district. This will go a long way in bringing more children into sports.

  20. Why don’t you try participating Sunil. If you think it is that easy participating in olympics, just give a try. It’s very easy to sit and comment. But we guys love to do that. Am i correct?


  22. Message to my fellow Indians,


  23. At last we got a gold for a name. A nation having 110 crore citizens got a single meadel to show of, its our government who is responsible for this,that they are simply giving prize money to who succeed but they are not trying to find and train best sportsmen.
    Any way lets pray to give us more Abhinavs…..

  24. I’m a native born American, and wondered, for no particular reason, if there were any Indians in the Olympics (the TV here isn’t focusing on your home country’s sports). I searched the net and came up with this blog. I read with interest the national pride shown in the previous comments… very interesting.

    I noticed that almost all the posts said something to the effect, “We focus too much on Cricket.”

    Then, I was exploring the rest of your site here…I noticed a tab at the top for ‘sports’. The only sport listed is Cricket.

  25. I am disappointed that India is doing so bad. Even tough we dont have the best training facilities or the best coaches, I was an athlete who competed in the nationals and had to talent to win a medal for india in athletics. I did the 100m in 10.3 which isnt good enough but triple jump was my event. I decided not to participate for Indian athletic due to the politics that athletes like me have to go through to get into a team leading by corruption. I gave up and went to the US for school and made it to division 1 atheltics which is very rare of a indian guy like me. Being the only Indian in college to have represented in triple jump, I borke various National records here but i am still an Indian citizen and I want to represent this country when we can get rid of the stupid illeterate ministers and sports authorities will educate themselves. But i wish all the atheltes luck since they made it so far bcos being in a country where cricket is the religion, and even though we sont win worls cups since 1983…we still support the rich @!$#@$# whose parents know the people to get their sons to the game when all the real talent is playing cricket somewhere in a village.

    All i have to say is that we should concentrate on our engineering and medical skills and the fake names at call centers…..Pick your name today and Be proud of India

  26. Hi,

    I have noticed that every one is blaming the Indian politics for not producing good players in other sports rather than cricket. I would like to remind you that we are a part of forming the government. Government will not do anything in this matter until we show some initiation. They are couple of sport centers in New Delhi but how many of us take the initiative to train ourselves in swimming, table tennis, and other sports? I guess a handful of us. We are equally responsible for this state. In my opinion, we should not wait for the government to take some action. We should do some thing about it to make other sports popular in India. India has an amazing history in field hockey and its sad that we don’t have a hockey team in Oylmpics 2008.

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  28. Same old discussion which gets repeated every Olympics & Asiad… Nothing will change… Just ignore the situation

  29. Hi Team,

    Now the time has come to show what Indian’s are ?

    And what Haryanvi boys are ????????

    Forget what u lost but remember, we have two another Gold Medalist in Beijing Olympic 2008.

    Now it’s time for Jitender and Vijender and sure they will win another gold MEDALS for India.

    Congratulation to both of you and the team.

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  31. Haha India should host a “Computer Programming Olympics”….that’d be about the only it can win something….maybe…LOL

  32. If we win 8 gold like Phelps of America we will be bagger and bring amount as a loan for winners so we can’t born players.

  33. whats the point in discussing these stuffs… person who will be reading this messages is already aware about the situations, spread the message to those person who think SPORTS as waste.. n if we can make any orgn or site where we can send our ideas of promoting SPORTS to govt. then think for that!!
    There is no point in discussion ACTION SPEAKS, not WORDS.. its not GANDHIWADI zamana that ur words will be effective…
    Some of my friends has written above about our weak position in Olympics.. listen people like you are discouraging them to participate, they know they are not good but still they are participating. They are FAR BETTER than me n u bcoz we are talking n they are doing. So stop criticizing start appreciating their HONEST EFFORTS, & govt. what the hell does this govt. has to do with the talent?? if it is so much corrupted then how come we know SANIA MIRZA, LEANDER PAES n more.. I m not saying that there is no corruption, but every problem has a solution. If you have a passion then fight for it. WE ARE WITH YOU, at least I AM.

  34. > Kalyanjit Sarmah said:
    >……If third world countries like China can do it then why we can’t?

    uhh because India is 5th world “country” that’s still stuck in the 17th century with a shit load of “baggages” ?

    Maybe you should invite your former British “Masta” back LOL

  35. hahahahaahaha…….

    1 bilion people with 1 gold…

    indians are pathetic…either busy dreaming of being superior….or finding excuses for covering inferiority….

    first about aryan, then about being colonied by moghul and british….and about doing coding that american doesn’t want to do……

    i think 50 years later, indian is still dreaming that they are the best….

  36. As a person of Indian origin, now leaving in the US and grew up in the US all I can say to you from an outside persepective is this..
    Every comment I read is about the government doesn;t do this, the politicans are corrupt..etc etc..
    Why wait for the government to do it, Don’t you live in a community, you have to have a grassroots approach as opposed to a top down approach to this..the government job is to provide safe haven against foreign powers, by the way doesn’t do in india.
    Water,shelter should be provided for by the independent states, which again doesn;t do this,
    What do you pay taxes for?…go have a community meeting get involved build athlectic stadiums in your community!!
    all I can say is thank god my parents left india, because honestly I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today…
    good luck

  37. It was interesting to read Chris Todd’s comments. However, I would like to point out that winning Olympic medals is difficult. Gold medal is especially so difficult. Countries like Sweden, Greece and Austria did not win any gold medal in Beijing. In past, a large segment of Indian population did not have had enough income to send kids for sports classes. However, it is changing very rapidly. India will win more medals in future because it has enough talent to overcome all the problems. It’ll be great if more Indian corporations emulate Mittals. Lastly I have observed that US programmers love their programming.

  38. To Shai,

    American loves programming, not coding, and seriously, I have hired Indians who have beautiful resume, but getting the basic programming syntax wrong, and still dared to argue with me when it happened right in front of me.

    After many many and many similar encounters with Indians, my conclusion is, Indian doesn’t like to admit mistakes, to others and even to themselves – self-denial.

    So alot of opinion from Indians towards themselves are biased, they over-praised themselves, but under-scrutinized their capability.

    I can’t understand why it is so hard to be self-critical, the americans, europeans, chinese, japanese, korean all are proud, but critical. Indians are clearly not.

  39. >> Chris Todd:
    >> American loves programming, not coding……

    I totally agree…

    and I have expressed this similar opinion since at least 5 years ago: that – in general – Americans (or European, East Asians) get into IT (especially programming) because they genuinely LIKE it, this is not unlike a pianist enjoy playing the piano, a guitarist loves playing the guitar…..

    But Indians – because of financial, social…..etc factors – in general, mostly got into IT because of the money/status/opportunities etc.
    He/She could very well become a good musician/athlete/doctor/teacher etc but this giant “IT-is-the-way-to-go machine” sucked him/her into it.

  40. add to my previous post:

    That is why we have this scene here in US:
    * 8 out of 10 people a recruiter sends in = Indian
    * The overwhelming majority in IT organization in almost ANY urban area = Indian.

    This is not because Indians are good at this or they cost less…no, this is just because Indians have the overwhelming number advantage.

  41. Bindra’s statement in Times of India tells it all. So, unless you have people who are interested in sports and the welfare of sports person, sports in this country will not improve at the most it can change for the worst. The guy at the top must have the guts to change things in the sports associations. The local residents associations must also involve in sports apart from the other things they are doing – which effectively means each one of us should get involved in sports. So, the blame lies with each one of us. We get so upset when an american finds fault with us and he is right when he says we cannot digest criticism, to accept ones fault one requires courage, use the criticism to develop ourselves. There was a time when the Japanese goods were neglected – but today? The neglect is what turned the Japs, so why cannot we turn our country around?

  42. Someone, someone Indian, ought to tell the Indian Olympic team to “straighten the f**k up and show some pride!” As shown in the opening ceremony photo, they looked like a bunch reluctant draftees dragging themselves thru an event that they didn’t wanna be at in the first place.

  43. Vijender, a bronze winner at the Beijing Olympics (2008), is one among a phalanx of world class Indian boxers that have emerged in the past decade.

  44. The Times of India Beijing Olympics 2008 gives you latest Olympics coverage from China, scores, medal tallies, milestones, etc; covers all events, …

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