The two highlights of India’s Olympic campaign have to be the performance of our hockey teams, promising a path to regaining lost glory in our national sport and how our women athletes have outshone their male counterparts. Whilst the men’s hockey team won their first Olympic medal after 41 agonising years, the women’s team though couldn’t win a medal, finished fourth after having made it to the semi-finals for the first time ever and on the way beating the mighty Aussies. This piece by Priya Ramani spotlights Indian women’s hockey as it combines both the highlights of India’s Olympic campaign and draws lessons for Women’s sport in general. Beyond the often lamented state apathy for sport in general and women’s sport in particular, Ramani also highlights the societal pressures which our women have to fight to succeed in sport, something their male counterparts aren’t subject to. Ramani looks at the issue from the context of Pritam Rani Siwach, former captain of the women’s hockey team and now a coach whose proteges have contributed to this remarkable Olympic campaign. Siwach who struggled her way to the top is determined to help many others like her.
For the backstory of the team members, see here.
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