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Monday, February 10, 2014

Sochi Witner Olympics - India as 'Independent country'

There are three Independent Olympic participants competing in three different sports  at Sochi, guess who ??... Ever heard of Luge …. but before that India’s hour of sporting shame !!!

The Olympic Games need no introduction… the game held once in four years attracts thousands of athletes competing.  There are the Summer and Winter Olympics and the  2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, or the 22nd Winter Olympics,  a major international multi-sport event being held in Sochi, Russia. Scheduled for 7–23 February 2014, opening rounds in figure skating, skiing, and snowboard competitions were held on the eve of the Opening Ceremony, 6 February 2014.

At Sochi,  a total of 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines are being held;  the events are being held around two clusters of new venues; an Olympic Park constructed in Sochi's Imeretinsky Valley on the coast of the Black Sea, with Fisht Olympic Stadium and the Games' indoor venues located within walking distance, and snow events in the resort settlement of Krasnaya Polyana.
the Russian contingent at the Parade

A record 88 nations qualified to compete, which beat the previous record of 82 set at the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  Seven nations, Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, andZimbabwe, are making their Winter Olympics debut.  In both Summer and Winter Olympics, athletes have competed as Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games for various reasons, including political  transition and international sanctions. Independent athletes have come from Macedonia, East Timor, South Sudan and Curaçao following geopolitical changes in the years before the Olympics, from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (present-day Montenegro and Serbia) as a result of international sanctions and from India as a result of suspension of its national Olympic committee. Medals were won by Independent Olympians only at the 1992 Olympics during the shooting events ~ at Sochi, there was the latest addition “INDIA”

Yes, Hamara Bharat had the  ignominy of three of its athletes march without the national flag during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics on Friday night.  With the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) suspended by the International Olympic Committee(IOC) due to ethical and administrative reasons,  the 3 athletes participating from India walked behind the IOC flag, as we hung our heads in shame.  The IOA was suspended by the IOC in December, 2012 due to its failure to comply with the Olympic charter and that has resulted in Indian athletes, including boxers, participating in events under the flag of world body.

Elections by the Indian Olympic Association are scheduled two days after the opening ceremony, which would not provide enough time for the suspension to be lifted. The Indian [Independent !!] contenders  are Himanshu Thakur in Alpine Skiing;  Nadeem Iqbal in Cross-country skiing; and Shiva Keshavan in Luge.  A luge is a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine (face up) and feet-first. Steering is done by flexing the sled's runners with the calf of each leg or exerting opposite shoulder pressure to the seat. Lugers can reach speeds of 140 km per hour (87 mph).

One can recall that at London Olympics 2012, in the Parade of Nations – there was a big Indian contingent of players and officials.  A woman wearing stark red top and blue tight pants, smiling and waving hands walked close to the flagbearer Sushilkumar ~ the Indian camp was clueless about the trespasser's identity. Now no such issues as this is no longer an Indian contingent… shame !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th Feb 2014

Photos from Boston Big pictures and FB.

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