Golden dreams of 1.3B

Tokyo, 7th August 2021. India wins its first ever athletics medal at the Olympics – and a GOLD at that! Narrow bronze medal misses by Milkha Singh and PT Usha were the best we’d seen before this.

Congratulations to NEERAJ CHOPRA, the boy who dreamt big! Talent along with hard work, sacrifices and incredible coaches. Just 23. Strong, calm and confident enough to carry through the expectations of a medal hungry nation.

Nothing is final till it’s final, but those who watched the javelin event would pretty much say that Neeraj had it wrapped up from the qualifying stage. In his very first Olympics, and without the pressure of being the first ranked or the favourite, he topped in the qualifying and he stayed on top right through the final.

Can’t imagine the reception that awaits the golden boy and everything else that is in store for him. Not to mention the hundreds of Neerajs at roll calls in a few years from now!

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Hockey medal!

Tokyo Olympics 2020, 5th Aug 2021.

The last few seconds of the bronze-medal match was not for the faint-hearted. Just as well that I wasn’t seeing it live. Carrying 1.3 billion dreams, and making them come true!

When people say that winning and losing doesn’t matter, it’s not quite real. Of course playing the game in the right spirit is important, but not making it to the podium is heart-breaking, especially when it is by a whisker. (Germany, I know how it feels!) Every athlete has the dream of getting a medal around the neck, and when achieved it is so fulfilling!

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Senior Citizen’s Day today

Today is World Senior Citizen’s Day.

Officially founded by US President Ronald Reagan in 1988, it is a day to appreciate our senior citizens and recognise their personal sacrifices and contributions to their families and to society at large.

“For all that, they have achieved throughout their lives and for all that they continue to do, we owe our gratitude and sincere greetings to our senior citizens. We can show our gratitude and appreciation better by making sure our communities are good places. Age and maturity, places where older people can participate as much as possible and find the encouragement, acceptance, support and services they need to continue living a life of independence and dignity.” – Ronald Reagan, 1988

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Basketball in the ’80s at Baldwins

For some of us, basketball was an important part of our lives in school. Morning, practice on the court. In the games period twice a week, practice on the court. Evening after school, practice on the court. Saturday mornings, practice on the court. We’d even skip the mandatory Moral Education classes to practice on the court!

Good facilities offer opportunities to become good sportsmen. With dedicated coaches through the years, Baldwins was always among the leading contenders in the inter-school basketball scene.

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The pool that changed swimming

July 9, 1976 was the turning point of swimming in Karnataka. The swimming pool in Baldwin Girls’ High School (BGHS), Bangalore was inaugurated, and looking back, it definitely impacted competitive swimming in India as well.

dedication pg1

Back in the 1970s, there were only a handful of swimming pools in Bangalore for the public. The Corporation Pool at Corporation Circle, a 30 yard pool, was one of the most popular ones. It’s gone now, and buildings occupy the place where it once stood. Kensington Pool, next to Ulsoor Lake, is another old summer time recreation spot, still a sought-after swimming space, especially because it’s a 50 metre pool, ideal for competitive training.

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Exercising during lockdown

No morning runs, no evening walks. No socialising and meeting friends. Stay at home and only at home, exercise in your homes for a few days.  These were the general instructions given to people in India regarding exercising during the lockdown that began on 25th March.

In some of the other countries where there is lockdown, Singapore for example, citizens have been told that they can go out to the nearby parks to exercise, while ensuring that the social distancing rule is not being broken. After all, exercise and sunlight and fresh air are important to keep healthy. And the air outside is indeed as fresh as it has ever been in years!

foolish humans

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Being at the Asia Pacific Masters Games

It’s a year since the 1st Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG 2018) was held at Penang, Malaysia (7-15 September 2018). 9 days, 22 disciplines and a whole lot of inspiration.

APMG2018 disciplines

When I heard that this was the 1st games, and it was being held at a time of the year convenient for me, I decided that I had to take part, despite a chronic knee problem. I’m really glad I did.

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A famous victory, 36 years ago

Lord’s cricket ground, 25th June 1983.

Chasing a meagre target of 184 to win, the West Indies looked invincible. Our Indian team weren’t able to bat though the 60 overs. A required run rate of just over 3 per over was really peanuts for a batting line-up in which even the fast-bowler tail-enders could hit any bowler out of the stands.

In India, we were thrilled that our team had reached the final. At 50/2, the West Indies were cruising. Hopeful though we were at the start of the match, at this stage I think many of us felt that the Prudential World Cup was out of reach and it was inevitable that the West Indies would take it for the third successive time.

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India’s performance at the IAAF World Championship 2017

The IAAF World Championship, London 2017 that concluded yesterday, saw several unexpected results. Driven by Usain Bolt’s last competition appearance, I tracked the daily results, often staying awake late or waking up early to see some of the events live.

100m start IAAF 2017

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