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Testing Times for Indian Sports

Testing Times for Indian Sports

August 6: It was the sort of news that makes everyone sit up and take notice. No wonder the Indian newspapers have been full of it. Some time ago, sportswoman Sunita Godhera submitted an explosive petition to the Delhi High Court. In it were the names of 144 sportspersons who, she says, have been found to be taking banned drugs to boost their performances. These tests were carried out at the laboratory of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in New Delhi....

An Olympics with a Difference

An Olympics with a Difference

August 19: For all those who are physically challenged, Abilympics offers a wonderful opportunity to do something special. An Olympic competition featuring ‘sports’ like painting, tailoring, jewellery-making, book-binding, embroidery and computer programming? Welcome to the fifth Abilympics, the three-day International Skill Competition that celebrates the abilities of the physically challenged to stand on their own in a harsh and competitive world. Held in Czechoslavakia starting August 15th, the day India celebrates her independence, the Ablilympics are quite different from the Olympics....

Swimming in Trouble

Swimming in Trouble

July 1: All governments and leaders talk about children as the “future” of the nation – a “strong” nation. They specially talk about the need to encourage sports among children from an early age. But if you ask the young swimmers who participated in the National Swimming Championship for the 11 and 13-year-old category recently, they will tell you how nonsensical these statements are. For they have a horror story to tell. Two weeks ago, all the star swimmers of India in the 11 and 13-year-old category travelled to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh....

Finns Favour Freezing Swim

Finns Favour Freezing Swim

November 4: It’s winter in Finland and temperatures are touching single digits. Across the Arctic, from Burbank to Murmansk, the land is completely frozen. Suddenly a group of Finns appear with a pickaxe and drill a hole in the thick ice pack. Are they going to fish? So where are the rods? Before you can blink a frozen eye, they have stripped down and stand shivering at the hole’s edge eyeing the chilly winter waters. Then, the bravest (or is it the most foolhardy?...

Athlete's Death Casts Gloom Over Games

Where: Vancouver, Canada February 15, 2010 : The 21st Winter Olympics began in Vancouver, Canada, on February 12, 2010. Just hours before the opening ceremony, Georgian athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili died during a practice session. He lost control of his sled, which was going at a speed of 90 miles per hour. The sled flew off the track at a sharp curve and crashed into a metal pillar. His event was luge: an ice sport in which the participant lies face up on a sled and propels himself forward using his calf and shoulder muscles....

A Show of Endurance

A Show of Endurance

A Show of Endurance [Illustration by Shiju George] October 22: The newspaper photograph showed Japanese swimmer Kei Miyamoto’s body finely arched at the starting point as he prepared to slice into the Olympic pool at the Sydney Aquatic Centre. And then I noticed it. He had no arms. Kei was practicing for the Paralympic Games, just as wheelchair-bound track athletes and sportspersons bearing the loss of an arm or limb with practiced ease, went through their paces for the 11-day event for the physically challenged that is going on in Sydney at present....

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