Vijay Goel mistakenly refers to Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu as "gold medallists"
Vijay Goel is making headlines for all the wrong reasons again.
Repeated mistakes from the same person often lead to the person becoming a joke. In this day and age, with social media taking over our lives, it is very easy for mistakes to spread like wildfire and lead to mass trolling of the said person. This is exactly what seems to be happening with Vijay Goel, union minister of states for sports and youth affairs and current favourite laughing stock of the Indian community.
After embarrassing the country for nearly getting thrown out of the Rio Olympics due to an apparent disregard for rules, Vijay Goel has constantly been in the news for one reason or the other. Be it the controversial quest for selfies with the athletes that seemed to be more important than managing the Indian contingent at Rio or the big mistake of getting Dipa Karmakar's name wrong in a congratulatory tweet, the troubles seem to keep piling up for him.
The latest in the long list of mistakes is the fact that he referred to Sakshi Mallik and PV Sindhu as “Olympic Gold medallists”. On Sunday, he very proudly announced, “Today the Khel Ratna awardee, Dhyan Chand awardees, Dronacharya awardees, Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awardees met the Prime Minister. In that, we also had two Rio gold medallists- PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik.”
One might, however, argue that in a country that won just two medals from a contingent of 121, Sakshi and Sindhu are glorified champions even if they failed to achieve the top spot at the Games. While one might expect such optimism from the common folk of the country, the ministers at least are expected to deal with a bit more caution when it comes to stating facts. It is shocking that Vijay Goel seems to be so flippant about matters.
The Rio Olympics went a long way in exposing the sorry state of affairs of sports in the country. Even with some players underperforming, one cannot deny that the people in charge of the contingent failed to do their job properly. A radiologist was sent in place of a sports doctor and the minister in charge was often caught enjoying a vacation at Rio instead of supporting our athletes. The boxing contingent was nearly disqualified for not having the name of the country on their jerseys.
When questioned regarding his mistake, Vijay Goel treated it as something casual and brushed it off with a characteristic “it happens”. “One should not make an issue of it. It was just a slip of the tongue, I wanted to say medallist, but ended up saying gold medallist. It happens at times. Who knows, might be with god’s grace, we might a bag gold medal in the coming years,” he said. Such optimism may just be the first step towards improvement.
If that was not enough, the minister further tweeted a picture with actor Sunil Shetty saying that he spent a morning “discussing sports development” with him. Apart from a stint as the ambassador of World Series Hockey, Sunil Shetty does not have any concise connection to sports.
What happens from here on, remains to be seen.