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What's wrong with Indian subcontinent?

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    What's wrong with Indian subcontinent?

    The Sydney Games are close. For most folks from Indian subcontinent, it will be one of acute embarrassment. Nearly 1.5 billion people live in Indian subcontinent and get less than 5 Golds in Olympic games.

    In Atlanta four years ago, India won a solitary bronze, while Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka got wooden spoons. In Barcelona in 1992, Pakistan got (you guessed it) a bronze; the rest came home empty handed. Indeed, you have to go back to 1984 and Los Angeles for the last time a South Asian nation was best at an Olympic sport -- Pakistan, in men's field hockey. For trivia fans, India last won gold in Moscow 1980, but that triumph was tarnished by the fact that most of hockey's powers (Australia, the Netherlands, West Germany, etc) had joined the U.S. boycott of the Games.

    Why do our athletes perform so poorly? I've heard all manner of theories -- genetic, racial and economic. I have a notion of my own, but we'll get to that later. (Hint: it involves military history and the caste system.)

    One reason is that most sports governing bodies are ruled by western/advanced countries, and they tend to change the physical aspects of games in their favor at times. That was the main reason for the demise of the subcontinent in field hockey, where with the advent of the astroturf, the pace of the game got faster, and the stick work and dribbling slowly disappeared. Now hockey is decided on penalty corners, not field goals.
    In squash, since the advent of the 15 point scoring system, Pakistan began to lose ground, because the game became more technical than physical, something in which the Pakistanis excelled. Remember the 5 year unbeaten stretch by Jehangir Khan in the early 80s?

    I do believe there is a lot of manipulation of rules and physical aspects of games involved, on part of the governing bodies, more often meant to benefit a very limited number of people. And unfortunately, the subcontinent has been the one to suffer more often than not because of these changes.


      Good point Akif. The bouncer law was also changed when West Indian and Pakistani fast bowlers started dominating cricket.

      Apart from this, South Asians are only interested in certain sports like Cricket,Hockey and Squash in Pakistan and we have excelled in all these at one time or another. I would love to see us produce a decent football side. (soccer, not the fake version played by Yanks).


        True Xtreme....and another reason, our young generation doesnt get the same exposure through colleges and varsity sports. Actually they get no boost at all from their colleges. Whether its a lack of funding, or lack of facilities, it is a big factor nonetheless. In order to get into sports in Pakistan, u pretty much have to belong to a sporting family, or skip school altogether, and play a sport right from the start.