Olympics, Continuous Improvement And Limits Of Human Achievements

Currently Tokyo Olympics 2021 is underway. It was supposed to happen in 2020, but because of COVID-19 pandemic it got delayed and is happening now. Even now the scare of COVID is very much there. However, the games have started and will continue to take place even if there are few odd COVID cases.

This brings back the usual debate in India – why India fares so poorly in Olympics. And what would it take to make India a Sporting nation.

Well, here is an interesting picture which summarises the problem well.

We focus too much on academics and Sports hardly gets any serious attention. The reasons are multifold. We don’t have infrastructure or other resources at school level. Secondly, we are still a relatively poor country where earning sustainable livelihood and improving quality of life are the primary goals. S

ports, almost all kinds, cannot be a good career option for 99% of people who would want to pursue it for life. Even Cricket has emerged as a sustainable career option for Tier 2 and Tier 3 players only in last 12-13 years, after the emergence of IPL.

Anyways, that just means that India is caught in a vicious circle and won’t do well at Olympics for another 20-30 years.

Another great aspect of Olympics is how it tests the limits of human achievements and stimulates Continuous Improvement.

I saw a couple of amazing videos which depict this point and thought of posting them here. The videos are of Gymnastics.

In 1950s the bar for Olympics was not very high. But since then humans have progresses to amazing heights and it clearly shows in the Gymnasts of today.

Check this video which shows Gymnastics in 1950s and the 2016 Olympics.

The 2021 Olympics seems to have taken the bar even further. See this compilation of 2021 Gymnastics (I hope it is from 2021 Olympics. I have not verified it).

I am wondering how Olympics in 2050s would look!

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