XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 – New Delhi, India

September 23, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

The delay in preparedness and various issues concerning the games village has justifiably placed the CWG authorities in spotlight. Being an international event the expectations in the readiness for the athletes arrival is fair and considering the organizers’ miserable failure the reaction is normal.

Although the village complex should have been made available in top notch condition months ago, the torrential rain causing the Yamuna River flooding exacerbated the situation.

Nevertheless, the status quo could be turned around to the international standard despite the pessimism, criticism and the time factor.

For a nation with an incredible talent and human capital, a renowned technology hub, the phenomenal output from the motion picture industry and above all the September 2009 rewarding lunar mission leading to the water detection in the moon, the CWG village restoration should be a no brainer.

It’s clear the committee behind construction and organization needs to be replaced immediately by a nationally or internationally acclaimed robust private industry with expertise in crisis management and sensitivity to the related multinational games.

Most importantly, eliminating bureaucracy that could have partially contributed to the existing problem and diverting attention to the surrounding issues with a positive result is paramount.

Perhaps, the crew hired for the airport project –‘Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3’ that not only produced an exemplary work but also reportedly completed the task within budget and delivered prior to the deadline would be appropriate since they were engaged earlier for the CWG purpose.

It’s incumbent upon everyone across the nation to aid in the CWG rescue rather than allowing the scheduled activity to fall apart.

As for the security issue, the threats during any international occasion are not uncommon – from Olympics to G-20 summits the terror warnings are floated in to discourage the sports or meeting occurrence. When heeding to fear mongering the terrorists and their agenda prevail over rationality and solidarity.

Ensuring tight security around the CWG site again by the competent security agencies – government forces along with trusted local private security firms should adequately provide the necessary protection all over the city.

The technology could be extensively used to thwart any attempts by installing ‘CCTV cameras with audio’ all around to enable further assistance in this regard. Citizens cooperation would enhance the efforts.

It’s important to realize that New Delhi has hosted many successful international events prominently the 1st Asian Games back in March 4 – March 11, 1951 and later the IX Asian Games in 1982 when the Asian Games Village was uniquely designed by the leading architect Raj Rewal who recently completed the much admired Indian Parliament library in New Delhi – attracting accolades.

Per Architecture Week: Specializing in Architecture Design and Building

“The recently completed Parliament Library in New Delhi, India is a response to its monumental context and yet ingenious in its originality.

Designed by architect Raj Rewal, the library is a fine example of post-colonial Indian architecture. It displays high technology with a regional expression, it is modern yet rooted in precolonial history, and it responds thoughtfully to its challenging colonial and political context.”

In addition to sports events, New Delhi has been the popular venue for International Trade Expositions and Symposiums housing delegates and participants from all corners of the world.

Similarly in other parts of India, the Hyderabad Asian-Africa Games in 2003 was proved a remarkable achievement.

India – the land of magnificent palaces, temples and historic monuments is most famous for “The beautiful Taj Mahal,” – all serving as an unparalleled architectural marvel and sculptural feast for the eyes since time immemorial.

Therefore, the CWG facilities across the spectrum should have exceeded the national and international evaluations.

Nonetheless, the athletes accommodation and the venue could be upgraded or relocated to a desirable ambiance in the city through private intervention rather than local government involvement.

Besides, the investments are at stake notwithstanding the national image and reputation.

There is no time to procrastinate and India in the twenty first century cannot resign to ‘not doable,’ approach but instead demonstrate collective responsibility in proving that,

Where there is a will there is a way.

Actions carried out in true human spirit and national interest is bound to triumph the trials and tribulations.

Commonwealth games must proceed to fulfill the humanitarian commitment through sports with utmost diligence assuring the athletes as well as the residents comfort, safety and security.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

 

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Super Bowl XLIV

February 8, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Congratulations! To The New Orleans Saints for a great victory in the first Super Bowl.

It’s a great comeback from 3 – 10 in the first quarter and racing to the final score at 31-17, indeed a spectacular win.

Saints’ Quarterback Drew Brees deserves the Most Valuable Player Award for leading the team to the “Hall of Fame,” and New Orleans city to new heights.

Hopefully some fortune from the super game will be distributed to the city and Katrina victims.

The Indianapolis Colts’ Quarterback Peyton Manning and the remaining team share equal distinction for their tremendous performance especially in the beginning and the defense was superb.

Other artists contributed to the event’s elegance.

Overall, it’s a fabulous entertainment.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

2016 Olympic Games

October 4, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

Heartfelt Congratulations! To the world famous Mardi Gras city, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for the spectacular victory in their bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Although, all contestants’ promotional bidding was exceptional, the Brazilian presentation was compelling and befitting the outcome. The IOC decision was fair and appropriate considering the other bidders had hosted the international event before and in the case of the United States on numerous occasions within the Olympics diversifications, i.e. Summer, Winter and Para Olympics in several venues, making the USA a prominent host of the most Olympics.

It’s a phenomenal feat for the South American nation, a rising economy and an international champion in the world-renowned sport, ‘football.’ Brazil also honored to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and now the Summer Olympics in 2016, an extraordinary achievement for the rising star.

Brazil’s well deserving stardom would enormously boost the image of the Americas due for a refreshing change and recognition in the global events. The opportunity to host the Summer Olympics would enhance the South American nation to play a lead role in the geopolitics and economic affairs. By selecting the carnival city Rio De Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics, the IOC has facilitated tourism and travel by the participants/visitors and other economic prospects for the struggling economies in the Americas, barely surviving the global economic crisis.

Sports and entertainments are the best avenues for global peace and harmony. Olympics and other international sports are important for better understanding and appreciation of other cultures and talents exhibited in these events. In the world dealing with persistent violence and political turmoil, the antidote for the human pain is the soothing message of solidarity through competitive activities.

Sports in general nurtures nationalism and more so in the international arena. As long as it is restricted to the spirit of competition and not outreaching political vendetta like demonstrated on various accounts, sports constitutes an integral part of the social spectrum.

The athletes representing each nation have an individual responsibility to be the ideal ambassador for their country in their demeanor… as their actions often perceived to be representative of the entire population.

There have been genuine concerns among certain members of the society against hosting international sports such as Olympics, indicating the negative impact on the city population often forced to relocate to a remote area in order to accommodate the extravagant sports facilities.

Further, they claim that in most instances, the action involved severe police brutality and city council authorities’ lack of consideration to the residents of these metropolitan cities.

Apparently, the massive cleanup operation and decoration hastily carried out in preparation for the gala ceremony and the people plight frequently ignored in terms of noise pollution, traffic congestion not excluding the zonal inflation arising from the visitor influx to the city.

Another factor pertains to the use of the facilities after the event is over. Like witnessed in most Olympic venues, the host city burdened with debts and redundancy of these structures constructed for a specific purpose and time. Brazil will have a daunting task in this respect, as Rio De Janeiro has a vast economically vulnerable population, a common characteristic of any developing nation.

Therefore, it’s important for the local, the federal government and the private organizations to respect the rights and interests of these citizens during the macro planning for the event.

It’s essential for the host nations’ governments and the organizing committees to devise a strategy beyond the economic standpoint, i.e. the people prioritized over profit. Perhaps, Brazil could be the paradigm for future host nations in this crucial yet contentious issue as it is more likely that other developing nations might pursue the hosting of the popular event in the near future.

Good Luck and Best Wishes! to the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the people of the Federal Republic of Brazil in their march towards greater progress and prosperity for them and the Americas.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

International Olympics: Beijing 2008

August 20, 2008

The grand opening ceremony by China to unveil the 29th Olympiad games in Beijing on August 8th, 2008 was impressive.

There were many “Gold, Silver and Bronze” medalists honored at this event.

The stellar performance by Michael Phelps as the “World and Olympic Champion” swimmer was incredible. His goals were to achieve “eight gold medals” to set up a new World and Olympic record in Beijing 2008. Michael realized his dream by winning “eight gold medals”, surpassing the record of the former athlete “Mark Spitz” who won seven gold medals in the same Olympic event. Michael’s name and fame reached sky high competing with the fireworks displayed at the Opening Ceremony of this international event.

Congratulations! Michael Phelps you are truly a great inspiration and a role model.

Also “hats off” to the Olympic marvels – Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, the “dynamic duo” of the Women’s Volleyball, “Ryan Lochte – wonderful performance with a gold medal and a world record”, Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Dara Torres – tremendous spirit.

Again Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak – in setting the record straight against the “French team” with gold medals after winning the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay swimming, the NBA Basketball stars and the entire U.S. Olympic team – terrific games!

All U.S. athletes put on a dazzling performance. The spectacular display of talent in all events by the U.S. Olympic team contributed towards the United States leading the Medal tally. We need to catch up with the host nation “China” on the “Gold Medal” count, even though it does not appear to be a great challenge.

All athletes were at their best given numerous factors related to age, past performance and last but not the least mishap with the “Women’s Gymnastics”. It was commendable that Alicia Sacramone handled the whole situation gracefully and proved herself to be a good sport.

A tribute to all athletes from different parts of the world –

Usain Bolt of Kingston, Jamaica wins the gold medal in the 100-meter dash in 9.69 seconds. The rumor that he might have a future with NFL further enhances the prospects for the athlete.

Several athletes from poor and developing nations showcasing their talent are praiseworthy for competing against developed and rich nations with far better facilities and advanced training programs. 

It has been a week since the 29th Olympic games started and it is not devoid of controversies;

The controversy involved the allegedly “underage” or minor “Chinese Female Gymastics” team with an advantage to seize the gold medal against the U.S team.

Not surprisingly some athletes testing positive for “performance enhancement drug”.

The very latest news; NBA forbidden from signing up the 7’2” Iranian Basketball Olympian Hamed Ehadadi as per the letter received by the NBA legal counsel according to Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports that stated “We have been advised that a federal statue prohibits a person or organization in the United States from engaging in business dealings with Iranian nationals.”

Then the buzz about the “Spanish Basketball team” with several NBA players including the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and Toronto’s Jose Calderon, in the audacious team photo posing in a “squinty-eyed” gesture angered the Asian athletes accompanied by sparring of words in the Asian press media. This incident also raised the “double standards” issue among the African American NBA players.

The “Excerpts from the news article by Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports Aug 13, 10:24 am EDT – Thank you.

Gasol and Calderon aren’t just accountable to Spain on this Olympic stage but the global corporate entity that pays them more than $130 million in pro contracts. The NBA could’ve delivered a ready rebuke on Wednesday and there was none.

They’ll dock you $50,000 for ripping an incompetent official, but you can get a pass on an orchestrated racial slur? Gasol is kidding himself to say that he was pushed into it. Do you think Kobe Bryant would’ve been pressured to pose this way? LeBron James? Gasol is a serious, sensitive player with the prestige and clout for Spain to step up and say: Forget it, fellas. This isn’t happening. Only he didn’t.

As much as anything, this episode feeds a prevailing feeling among African-American NBA players that they’re the constant scapegoats for whatever issues – real or perceived – plague the sport. Without the public demanding a pound of accountability for European players, do they get a pass?

“The simple question is, ‘Would NBA commissioner David Stern and the league hold the American players accountable?’ And I think the answer to that is yes,” one NBA general manager said. “So why wouldn’t he hold the ‘other’ NBA players accountable – unless the rules only apply to the American players.”

———————————–

International Olympics and politics have collided since the origin of this event. Even though the Olympic event is symbolic in defining international solidarity with nations gathering together to pledge their support for peace and harmony, some nations have used the same event as a platform to air their political differences and hostility against each other.

There have been bomb threats, boycotts and even a hostage crisis….the notorious one being the “Munich massacre”.

Munich massacre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Thank you.

The Munich massacre occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by Black September, a group with ties to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization.

By the end of the ordeal, the terrorist group had killed eleven Israeli athletes and coaches and one German police officer. Five of the eight members of Black September were killed by police officers during an abortive rescue attempt. The three surviving terrorists were captured, and were later released by West Germany following the hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner, a release that has led to speculation that West Germany had helped stage the Lufthansa hijacking.[3][4]

Israel responded to the massacre with Operation Spring of Youth and Operation Wrath of God, a series of Israeli air strikes and assassinations of those suspected of planning the killings.”

Perhaps the twenty first century could teach mankind to respect and understand each other as part of the “human race” and spare the sports event from becoming the battleground to resolve any political crisis.

Padmini Arhant

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