WENDELL RODRICKS | Last evening in the banquet room of the Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, I attended a felicitation ceremony that left a deep impression. When a friend invited me for the event, I had no idea what was in store except the fact that the Indian Olympic winners were being feted.
Among the crowd, I met Prakash Padukone, who I know ever since his daughter Deepika started her modelling career. I was also introduced to Geeti Sethi, eight time billiards champion and ex-captain of the India hockey team, Viren Rasquinha.
Rasquinha spoke about the aim of Olympic Gold Quest. A non-profit company committed to bridging the gap between the best athletes in India and the best athletes in the world, thus paving the way for Indian athletes to win Olympic Gold medals.
GQ’s first test was the London Olympics 2012. Four out of the six Indian Olympic winners were supported by OGQ. The mission of this noble and patriotic group is to assist athletes achieve their dream to win Olympc Gold. The vision is to scout for talent at a young age, to identify areas where they can be supported and to provide a network to create the best equipment, training and doctors to maintain an athlete in prime condition.
During the felicitation ceremony, it was touching to see 17-year-old Devendro Singh, who reached the quarter finals in the 49 kilo mens boxing. Though Sania Nehwal and Gagan Narang were unable to be present , there were tears in my eyes to see the video of the Indian tricolour going up near the podium. It was the same emotion when friend Leander Paes cried when the Indian flag went up years ago.
Vijay Kumar, who won Silver for the 25m rapid fire pistol round at London 2012 Olympics delivered a touching speech of how OGQ helped him procure special barrel equipment from Germany. When asked about his medal, he hesitatingly withdrew the gleaming silver medallion on its purple ribbon from his jacket, to rousing applause.
The largest applause was reserved for MC Mary Kom. Her story should be written and a film made on this tiny boxer. With a truly supportive husband by her side, she has risen beyond the barriers of her motherhood to push forward in a determined effort to win gold. So disarming and shy is this young Manipuri mother that she actually apologised for not getting gold. As if being third best in the world was not achievement enough, Mary Kom told the audience that she hopes there is a women’s boxing hope in Rio for her weight group.
When I left the venue, elated with patriotism, the Olympic Gold Quest motto rang in my ears “It takes just 6 grams of gold to lift the worth of a nation”.
You can pledge your support for our athletes so that we can see the Indian flag rise at Rio de Janeiro at the next Olympics. Go online at www.olympicgoldquest.in to learn more and send a contribution to support our golden hopefuls.
They need your help and you need their achievements for our country to shine in the world of sport.
Indeed six grams of gold can lift the worth of a nation!