Indian athletes have not been impressive in the Olympics, winning only 26 medals ever since the major sporting event began in 1896. India are set to send their largest contingent — more than 90 — for the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics, and if the athletes shine in the quadrennial event, they could bring more glory to the nation.
However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes one should not read too much into the results, but they should be encouraged further.
"When we talk about the Olympics we do feel sad at the medal tally. But we need to create the right atmosphere to encourage athletes. I will say it again: Please do not see everything as a win or loss. It's about sportsman spirit and being positive about our athletes. Let us not worry about the results," Modi was quoted as saying by The Statesman in the 20th edition of his monthly radio address "Mann ki Baat."
The Indian government has apparently been putting its best foot forward in order to help athletes shine in the Olympics. They have started a project — Target Olympic Podium — aimed to help India bring medals in the future, and also mould youngsters for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Rio Olympics is not too far away, and athletes have already started their mega preparations for the event. India is hoping for some medals in Rio after its best-ever haul in the 2012 London Olympics of six medals. India remains quite hopeful of some medals from sportspersons like Saina Nehwal and Jitu Rai.
The prime minister was quite pleased with sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who had put in a private visit to Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, where he interacted with the trainers and athletes.
"I want to appreciate Sarbananda Sonowal as in the middle of poll season, he went to Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala for a surprise visit. He spoke to trainers, athletes and inspected all the rooms and dined with the athletes too," Modi said.