The Olympic Gold Quest is a programme started by two sporting legends of India, Prakash Padukone and Geeth Sethi, with the sole purpose of identifying highly skilled athletes, providing them world class training and exposure and finally moulding them into gold medal prospects for India. Their efforts to bring together sports and corporates under one roof to give India its best chance to win gold medals at the London Olympics is appreciable. The programme needed the experience of legends, the intellect and energy of young Indian achievers, to set the ball rolling. OGQ found all these in Prakash Padukone,Viren Rasquinha, Geet Sethi, Leander Paes, Vishwanathan Anand and the generous corporate houses.
Today, sixteen athletes who trained under OGQ are representing India at the London Olympics across five disciplines – archery, shooting, boxing, badminton and athletics. Although OGQ has had to deal with the disappointment of the exit of the archery team at an early stage and also the exit of promising P.Kashyap in the quarterfinal of men’s badminton, it still has all the reasons to keep its hopes alive. The athletes who are yet to put their skills to test are Vikas Gowda (discus throw ) , T.Luka (athletics- 800 m) , Omprakash Singh ( short put), Shagun Chaudhry (shooting) and Sanjeev Rajput (shooting). One must note that Gagan Narang, the sole medal winner, has two more events to go.
The OGQ athletes who are very much in the “GOLD QUEST ” are Mary Kom, Devendro Singh and Manoj Kumar( All Boxing) and Gagan Narang. Of course there are many more Indian athletes who have a good chance at striking gold. For the athletes from the OGQ Camp and the athletes who have trained on their own, its show-time.
India is a country where we hardly see people taking the initiative. Even if taken, they are seldom patronised . Lets see the brighter side of this initiative and rally behind our athletes to realise their dream. India will be a sea of festivities if we finally manage to live the gold-rush dream. If OGQ has to prove a point, it literally would have to bring home the gold!