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Courage in Imperfect Times

While the world is beset with an unprecedented situation, it will never have the power to dampen the human spirit writes Anil Singh of Procam International.

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Anil Singh

It’s crystal clear. The only way to flatten the curve of this global pandemic is through increased testing and social isolation. All it takes is one infected individual to wreak havoc. Google the  story of Patient 31 it will blow your mind. How a seemingly healthy Chinese woman who flew into South Korea carrying the Corona virus, single handedly infected 5,382 people out of the then 8,897 confirmed cases. Roughly 60%. A modern day version of Mary Mallon, better known to all as ‘Typhoid Mary’

I have been home bound for over a week ,and like everyone else have little over couple weeks more to go. To my pleasant surprise and that of a few  others, I’m pretty calm and relaxed both mentally and physically, even though I’m gregarious by nature. What I truly miss and constantly crave for, is Live Sport. It’s  been part of my daily diet for as long as I can remember, and now all of a sudden ‘BOOOOM’ it’s gone. Neither can one play nor watch Live sport,period. It’s akin to a hardcore non -vegetarian having to eat vegan food while detoxing at a clinic. 

It’s funny, but as soon as I feel like watching TV, instantly you realise there is no Live sport, it’s right there and then the enormity and weight of this unprecedented situation hits you and starts to be a burden. With due respect, spending time watching reruns of old matches or highlights is tedious. My philosophy is simple,“ if it ain’t Live it ain’t sport”. The other day, during one of these weak moments, I reached for my mobile and began to surf randomly. Came across a plethora of stories and videos celebrating the most unforgettable moments in sport. These Incredible stories of courage and human endeavour proved to be the perfect antidote for this imperfect time. Nelson Mandela’s words rang loud and clear, Quote “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sports can create hope, where there was once only despair.” end quote. I have selected a few stories that I’m keen to share. 

Before I get to the stories, I would like to touch upon the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There was huge criticism that the decision came too late. Canada and Australia threatened a boycott, hoping it would  pressure the IOC to react immediately. Unfair and unnecessary. In my opinion the correct decision was made at the correct time. Let’s delayer why. No official body be it the IOC, JOC, Sporting federations etc were ever going to take the chance of going ahead if there was even a semblance of risk. It’s simply unthinkable. To take a final decision to postpone the Games requires 100s of stakeholders to align, the scale of logistical disruption is severe,financial implications need to be reworked and sanctioned, scheduling is a nightmare. Put yourself in their shoes, would you not cling to every hour of hope praying for a miracle. For sure, finally it’s about the athletes. Ambiguity is their only fear, they need clarity, without which every nuance of their daily schedule leading up to the Games goes for a toss. A minimum lead time of 3 months is needed for athletes to get back on track, it may not be ideal but it’s sufficient. Hence, it was the right decision at the right time.

I have added a few lines taken from the stories itself as a synopsis. I urge you to google and read them in full, trust me it would be time well spent.

Petra Majdic - Despite four broken ribs and a punctured lung the Slovenian Snow Queen overcame the pain to win cross-country skiing bronze in Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Santiago Lange - After five Olympic Games,the Argentine sailor still had not found gold. And then came cancer. Could he win in Rio.

Kieran Behan - Imagine being told that you will never walk again. Determined to becoming an Olympic champion. But how could he do that when he could not even walk now and was confined to a wheelchair.

Bethany Hamilton - A surfer who grew up in Hawaii. In 2003 a shark bit of her left hand. As she recovered she made two promises to herself. She would not moan  about her terrible misfortune and that she would get back on the surfboard. Bethany’s amazing story has been captured in the film Soul Surfer.

Hermann Maier - One of the greatest skiers of his generation. Maier suffered a devastating crash at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. Despite the horrific wipeout, Maier was back on the slopes to claim Gold in two events.

Lawrence Lemieux - The Canadian sailor was a medal favourite at the 1988 South Korea Olympics. During the race in dangerous winds he noticed a competitor’s capsized boat, he stopped to help save two injured sailors. It was only after he handed over the sailors to a rescue crew, did he resume the race. 

We are better off thanks to them. 

Stay safe. Stay healthy. 


For feedback and suggestions  please write to: Hailmary.anil@procam.in or Tweet @anilprocam






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