Sandeep Singh: Mere liye yeh bronze nahi, gold medal hai
“Fourty one years ke gap ko break karna is a really big thing for the hockey world and Indian sports. Mere liye yeh bronze medal nahin gold medal hai,” says Sandeep Singh, former captain of men’s hockey team. Presently the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister of Haryana, Singh calls the bronze medal won recently by the men’s hockey team at Tokyo Olympics, as a “historic win” and calls it equivalent to the charm of a gold medal!
“Aur mujhe lagta hai ki har bhartiye ke liye ye gold hi hona chahiye, kyunki hum ’80s se pehle baat kare toh gold aana, ’72 mein bronze medal aana. Humare liye hockey ki history hai medal ki. Aur India ke sabse zyada medals bhi hockey mein aaye hain,” says Singh, opining that this medal will inspire youth to take up sports. “Jab bhi kisi sport mein medal aata hai toh youngsters mein bahut chehel pehle hoti hain aur ek junoon dikhta hai. Young players ke andar ek alag hi mehak hoti hai ki hume bhi waisa khiladi banna hai aur star banna hai. Jis game ke medal aa rahe hain, usi game ke bache develop hona shuru ho jaate hain,” he adds.
Singh’s life journey has been the inspiration for Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Bollywood film Soorma. And the former hockey ace believes that more films should be made on sportspersons. “Jab tak movie nahin banegi, pata kaise chalega struggle aur hard work ka? Khiladi banna aasan nahi hai. Itna bada desh hai, usme se nikal kar khelna, medal jeetna. Woh ek din mein nahin hota hai. Woh mehnat ab rang laa rahi hai,” he says, adding, “Hum ek nayi cheez le ke aa rahe hain. Mental coach and diet coach dono ko hum grassroot aur state level ke khiladiyon ko bhi provide karenge.”
Citing example of a recent viral video — where a little girl aka Junior Mirabai Chanu is seen lifting a weight as Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu with the TV screen in her backdrop playing the Tokyo Games — Singh says, “Kaise woh powder lagati hai... Medal se pehle weighlifting (sport) ka itne chhote bachhon ko pata hi nahi tha. Uski video upload hona yeh darshata hai ki bachche kitne keen hain wahan tak pahuchne ke liye. Bachhon ko yeh medal inspire karega... har khiladi chahega ki main waisa banoo!”
Author tweets @Nainaarora8