Watch out! India is ready to make its mark in Rio Olympics 2016
It is that time of the year when "Citius, Altius, Fortius" makes a lot of sense. While various venues in Rio are gearing up to host the greatest show on earth, more than 100 athletes from India are preparing themselves in what can be the nation's most prolific show at the Summer Olympics.
We Indians are not used to high expectations during Olympics - certainly not keeping gold medal in our minds, unless of course, we are super optimists.
But this time around, our expectations can turn into a reality.
With a haul of 6 medals in London, India is expected to touch the double figure mark this year. With a series of good performances by our athletes in their respective disciplines for the past two years, expectations have skyrocketed this time.
Leaving all the bad memories behind, let's look forward to a goal to be fulfilled this year. When the question arises where we see ourselves, this time, it would be definitely way better than London 2012. Somewhere around 30s when compared to 55th.
We were never good at sports. Even in cricket, we were pushovers. The win in '83 World Cup was a fluke. Things changed in the 90s. The middle class grew and so did the lesser-followed sports like badminton, shooting, and wrestling.
After the Beijing heroics, we were on cloud nine. We hoped for nothing less than ten medals. But unfortunately, we ended up with six medals - two silvers and four bronzes. But it was twice the number of medals we got in Beijing. It was more than a decent outing for Team India as it was our best performance ever in the history of the Olympics and things could only get better from this point onward.
In 2016, there is optimism in the air. And why not?
For the first time in recent years, India will be competing in the Olympics with a realistic chance of winning more than one gold medal. Millions of Indians are busy predicting the number of medals the contingent will bring home this time around. Everyone is rallying behind Indian contingent by liking, sharing, retweeting posts on social media related to these athletes.
Will Rio 2016 be the most decorated chapter of Indian sporting legacy and inspire a generation? There is hope that the Summer Games this year can herald a revolution in Indian Sports, however, that needs the support of us to make this dream come true.
The recent past has seen a slight ray of hope. With the emergence of Shiva Thapa, Vinesh Phogat, Narsingh Yadav, Jitu Rai and Deepika Kumari - the nation has found its share of heroes, legends, and idols that are sure to inspire future Olympians from our nation.
The London Games might not have been very successful but with the sporting heroes like Lalita Babar, Sudha Singh, and PV Sindhu - the future does look very promising. With our contingent playing so well and winning tournaments after tournaments, going into the Games, our level of expectations has been raising day in and day out.
Amidst all this, the question we need to ask ourselves as fans is - are we over ambitious with our expectations or have we really arrived on the biggest stage as world-beaters?
All that is needed is willingness and determination to win for the country. If that's the case, success is by no means far away and if this formula is implemented, double-digit mark in Mission Rio 2016 is not far from being accomplished.
This is the Olympics. Possibly the last Olympics which Leander Paes, Abhinav Bindra, and Yogeshwar Dutt will play together. They are the same guys who had tears in their eyes while standing on the podium. The same players who wrapped the Indian tricolor around their shoulder during the victory laps.
We never doubted your patriotism or loyalty. Never will. Just wanted to remind you all about it.
Citius, Altius, Fortius.
An Indian fan.