Bengal’s Contributions to the Olympics

I stand on the podium, my heart in my mouth. Even the cheers of a hundred fans is drowned by the adrenaline pumping through my veins and the blood roaring in my ears. The only thing I can do is focus on the task at hand, and do what I do best. Because I know, back home, my family will be watching, waiting for me to bring back something….. because I am finally representing my nation at the Olympics.

Sounds fascinating, right?

Well, I won’t even claim that was me. I have never been to the Olympics – in fact, I am just a nerdy kid sitting home and typing this; trying to bring out the Bong spirit of the Olympians who make us proud. Because these stars have proved that not just in science and literature, Bongs are can do some serious acing in sports as well.

Dipa Karmakar has become something of a legend, owing to her legendary achievements in gymnastics. Of course, that wasn’t how she had started though – she had flat feet, a real hindrance to springing. In spite of that, neither  her trainer nor she had given up hope, and that’s what made her achievements so exemplary, earning her fourth place in the Rio Olympics.

Now I know – some might say, “But she didn’t win a medal!”

Yes, that’s true, but let me ask you….. is that the ultimate deal? Yes,. it’s one of the ultimate deals, definitely but anyone who doesn’t win – is she a loser? In fact, a little goggling will let us know that social media was more wracked-up over her than with the gold medalist. Probably because she fought against all odds to be a winner in her own right – to bring out the true Bong spirit.

And as for medalists, we have Jyotirmoyee Sikdar who ran her way to third place in the 800 m and 1500 m in the 1998 Olympics. Besides that, we also have ace-archer Dola Banerjee, Madhumita Bisht, our former badminton player. Zeeshan Ali might not have brought us any medals, but was ranked the 126th of the world when he was still 3 weeks short of his 19th birthday. That, in itself is an achievement. Not to mention our very own Pradip Kumar Banerjee, who captained our football team in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Like many others mentioned above, he had failed to find his team a position in the top three, but was dubbed the footballer of the 20th century by Fifa – which shows that as important medals might be, they aren’t everything.

Oh! Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. The fact holds true; somewhere, somehow we Bongs have fallen short. As a fellow Bong, I must admit to the fact – why? Because the first step to rectification is admittance, and I believe that we as fellow Bongs should support our mates to the fullest – so that they never fall short again. So that the ones among us, the ones who have a chance – find the necessary motivation to train, because the path to success is a lonely one.

So that, one day, they can glorify the Bong spirit and and emblazon it to the world in golden letters.

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