It starts with conquering what overwhelms you. For a first-time Olympian, this test takes place every step of the way – sometimes suddenly, maybe when he sees the accreditation card coming out of the printer at the airport. Seeing their names on it with the references to “Olympic athlete” can literally overwhelm them. But you have to stay calm, because this is the state in which you can give your best.
But former Indian hockey forward Jagbir Singh responds with an interesting inference: This contingent is full of young players who have already won medals on the international stage. They are the numbers 1, 2 and so on. This was not the case when he played at the Olympics – in 1988 and 1992.
It is a big difference, a striking difference, especially for a country which is not yet a sporting power.
Sports physiotherapist John Gloster adds more in his comments to PTI, countering those who believe the pandemic has thrown athletes. He believes that athletes will be more resilient and mentally prepared than ever before. And he reasons this around a solid logic.
The pandemic has allowed athletes to “build themselves up and work more on the mental side of the game.” They’ve never had so much time to train mentally before.
Gloster is right, and he’s seen it up close, while working with badminton players like B Sai Praneeth and Chirag Shetty, fencer Bhavani Devi, swimmer Sajan Prakash and discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur. All are in Tokyo.
So what does the pulse of the athletes look like as they step closer to a shot at Olympic glory? TimesofIndia.com asked some of them this question.
These are their answers …
“My vision as an Olympic rookie is to do my best and win gold. I see the Olympics as my next event as well; therefore, that should be very good. My intuition tells me that the medals of gold is possible in all events (10m AP, 10m Mixed AP, 25m Pistol), especially gold at 25m. I believe in hard work and will appreciate. Rest belongs to God. ”
“Certainly, experience is something that you cannot buy in commerce and that is priceless in sport as in all aspects of life. The experience can also make you fearless in fact. yes, I will have the benefit of experience. ”
“There is no worry or there is nothing to feel relieved about actually. There is a job to be done and the focus is all on it. Yes, I am grateful that we were able to train and prepare well before the Olympics. At one point last year that had been a concern. ”
DIVYANSH SINGH PANWAR
“My brain and heart are synchronized. ‘Jaise Arjun ko ped pe sirf chidiya ki aankh dikhayi di, waise hi mere dil aur dimag me perform karna hai’ (as Arjun in the Mahabharat could only see the bird eye aiming, in the same way, my heart and mind are in sync.) Think about a game-changer and learn to be calm in the mind.
“When we look at our team, then there isn’t a very big difference between us and these (better) teams. Previously, the gap between us and the European nations seemed bigger; but now when we face them, that difference seems smaller, if we continuously work on the finer details, we can beat them, they are not unbeatable, we have to stay one step ahead of the best teams.
GRAHAM REID (Men’s team coach)
“You always think you have to do more and you run around thinking we have to do this and that. It has been the same for every Olympics, every World Cup I’ve been to. always smells like this It’s a normal feeling.
“I’m talking about zooming out and zooming in, and zooming out is the big picture. The big picture for us is that we want to jump on that catwalk at the end of it all. But to get there you have to do a lot. stuff and there’s a lot of heats and stages, every quarter, every game as we play to reach the quarterfinals. Then if you win the quarterfinals, anything is possible.
MC MARY COME
“The memories (of the 2012 bronze) don’t make me nostalgic. They make me more determined and resolute in my goal and desire to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics. I will do my best.”
“My father was a national level Kabbadi player and it was his dream to see me play in the Olympics. There was a time when I wanted to quit boxing, but the faith of my father and all my family brought me through hard times. the Olympics are approaching, I feel very moved and happy to make my late father’s dream come true. I know I have the courage to beat anyone on any given day. I want to to win a medal for my country and my family. ”
“I grew up watching the famous boxing culture in Bhiwani since I was a little kid, and it was my dream to win an Olympic medal. It has been a really long and difficult journey for me and I am really looking forward to winning a medal for my country and making the nation proud. ”
“I missed qualifying for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics; it hurt a lot. Then I burned my hand and thought I would never play the Olympics in my life. J ‘ve worked very hard to reach here and I don’t take this privilege for granted. I know what this means for me and my family. Everything is going well for me at the moment and I have not neglected anything in my preparations . I can see myself on the podium in Tokyo. ”
B SAI PRANEETH
“Honestly, I’m very happy and excited to be able to play badminton after such a long gap and the fact that it’s the Olympics makes it even more special. It’s been a long time since our last tournament and it’s also been a long wait for the Olympics. I’ve missed the feeling of competition all these months. I can’t wait to give my best in every game and not take any pressure thinking about the result and the big stage. ”
“We give absolutely everything to training and we are also aware that people have expectations of us and that makes us more determined. We are very excited for the Olympics and looking forward to winning a medal for our country.”
I know I perform better when I don’t think too much about the outcome and expectations. I’m someone who really enjoys enjoying the game to the fullest with all the emotions and energy, and it will be no different this time around. I train hard, eat well, and take care of myself in any way I can to give myself 200% when the time comes.
“I’ve heard a lot about the Olympics and the feelings that go with it, and I really want to enjoy it and experience it in Tokyo. We are confident in our abilities and it’s good to have so much support. from everyone. We look forward to making our nation proud. ”
ACHANTA SHARATH KAMAL
Sport: table tennis
“The confidence that I have comes mainly from the last two years, especially the 2018 Asian Games, where we won two bronze medals (men’s team and mixed doubles). That’s what gives confidence, because if you can get a medal at the Asian Games, you can get a medal at the Olympics.
“Even though this will be my fourth Olympics, it will be something new due to the prevailing situation with Covid-19. But at the same time, the ability to understand the pressure, stress and anxiety that arise in Les The Olympics will be something that will come in handy at this point with the experience I have. Getting a medal is going to be tough, but in mixed doubles we’re only three rounds away from a medal. ”
Sport: table tennis
“Yes, it was my childhood dream to compete in the Olympics. Definitely super excited! For me, like I always said, I just want to go out there, enjoy the sport and give the best of me- even on the biggest stage in the world and come out of Tokyo with a lot of memories and with no regrets that I didn’t give my best. So I’m just going to give everything I’ve trained so far in my life and my career, give it all to the table there and take whatever it takes. I will love to play table tennis. ”
“The women did well in Rio and it’s a motivator for me to do well this time around in Tokyo. The experience of playing on the LPGA (Tour) over the past five years is invaluable and I think that playing more tournaments has always helped my performance historically. So definitely playing on the LPGA before the Olympics has helped me get into the rhythm. I have played in at least 10-15 tournaments with Covid restrictions so I’m used to it now and I know how to handle myself. ”