India’s shiniest stars at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Published On: August 11, 2021

Indians celebrated the 2020 Tokyo Olympics no less than a festival from 23rd July to 8th August 2021. After all, we waited an additional year for this quadrennial event. We had sent a total of 116 athletes to the Olympics and we’re proud that they produced an unforgettable show for the audience at large. India has finished 48th in the medal tally finishing significantly higher, the best in 40 years.

All of us should take a moment to appreciate all the athletes who represented our flag at the biggest sporting event. It is fair to mention that India had representation in a sport like fencing and equestrian for the first time and not to forget that fencer Bhavani Devi and Fouaad Mirza did their absolute best and compelled Indians to watch sports that they mostly never had. Aditi Ashok, the super golfer ranked 200 in the world beat top golfers and came very close to winning a medal for our nation, but to no avail, we are proud of her splendid shots. Our women’s hockey team wrote themselves to history by defeating Australia to reach first-ever semifinals. Although the brave women couldn’t bring home medals, they won billions of hearts with their determination. Dhanalakshmi Sekhar one of the members of the Indian mixed relay team of 4x400m, was informed only upon arrival from Tokyo that her sister had passed away so that she could focus on the Olympics. A total of 116 athletes at the Olympics from India and 116 inspirational stories to talk about.

India brough home seven medals from the Olympics- 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. Here are our shiniest stars who contributed majorly in enlightening hopes and uniting the country in these testing time under the pandemic.

Neeraj Chopra

This 23-year-old boy from Haryana was predicted to be winning a medal for sure in javelin throw at the Olympics. People had high expectations and Neeraj’s gold was an answer for millions of Indians praying for a gold at the esteemed event. There were bigshots in his competition with higher records, but this Indian with the golden arm clinched to glory. Indians couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion of the Olympics.

Mirabai Chanu

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, opened India’s account at the Olympics by winning a silver in Weightlifting in the early days. Lifting the hopes of millions on her shoulders, this miracle girl wrote herself to history. This Manipuri girl, used to lift heavier bundle of firewood as a 12-year-old than her brother. She used to travel 22 Kms for training to the centre, usually getting lifts from truck drivers. From being criticized for her performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics to becoming a national hero, Mirabai has come a long way.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya

As a 23-year-old boy debuting in the Olympics, Ravi performed phenomenally and won a silver medal for us in wrestling. His expressions at the podium communicated every Indian of his hunger for gold. Indians were assured that this boy is an exceptional one as we saw his endurance while being bitten by his opponent in the semis. Ravi fought really hard and we are proud of him.

PV Sindhu

This wonder girl created history by becoming the only Indian woman to win two Olympic medals and the fourth athlete to win multiple medals in the women’s singles badminton category. We were all rooting for her and she got us a bronze in the women’s singles category- badminton. Sindhu’s journey is a story of sacrifice and hard work. From being given a list of dos and don’ts after losing a hard-fought match at the Australian Open in 2015 to being imposed with restrictions on food and late nights, PV has done it all. Pusarla is a beacon who shines her light and inspires generations to work magnificently towards their dreams.

Lovlina Borgohain

India was elated when Lovlina Borgohain, dominant from the first go, packed a punch and assured India a bronze medal by defeating Nien-Chin Chen in her boxing welterweight quarterfinal bout. Lovlina’s parents were pitied for having three daughters and not a single male child. Look at Lovlina! She has won two bronzes at the World Championships, one in the year 2018 and the other in 2019 and at such a young age, has won a bronze medal at the Olympics.

Bajrang Punia

Performed with a knee injury, won a bronze for India in wrestling with a score of 8-0. Khel Ratna Bajrang Punia is the only Indian wrestler to win 3 medals at the World Wrestling Championships. This World no. 1 in Men’s Freestyle 65 Kg wrestling is an inspiration for younger generations to come.

Men’s Hockey Team

Prior to 2020 Olympics, India had 8 gold medals in Men’s Hockey event. Our Men’s Hockey Team clinched to glory by winning a bronze medal at the Olympics. India waited for 41 years to witness history. Both, Indian Men’s & Women’s team outshined at the Olympics and credit has to go to the state of Odisha. As this is the rebirth of hockey in India, it is to be mentioned that the Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri. Naveen Patnaik supported the team throughout since 2018 when their official sponsor backed out from sponsoring the team. This is when the Odisha Government stepped in with a support of 100 Cr INR for the teams.

Every performance at the esteemed events were a result of perseverance and hard work put in by the athletes for years and years. While it is easier for us to pin point that any athlete missed the win and could have done better, we must acknowledge that they QUALIFIED for the Olympics which is a huge deal! As much as we support a few sports, we must take out time to follow or at least encourage budding sportspeople to live their dreams of representing India at global events. By doing so, we are not only supporting our athletes but inspiring younger generation to take up sports as a career option. The medal tally may stand at 7 today, we never know, it may double the next time.

A total of 16 days at the Olympics, superhit performances, scripting history and winning 7 medals for the country, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics shall always be considered India’s best show in 41 years. Take a bow, Olympians!

Written by
Tista Nautiyal

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