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It's the year of the Olympics!

Last updated on: January 4, 2012 14:03 IST

It's the year of the Olympics!

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Laxmi Negi

This is the Year of the Olympics, time to celebrate! says Laxmi Negi.

A lot has been said about the year gone by, so instead of delving too much on the past, it's best to get down to the Herculean task ahead, the Olympics.

Most athletes spend the best years of their lives gunning for glory; few are lucky to achieve it, while some just wither away.

Without any fixation or hero worship, 2012 will, hopefully, produce a new Indian hero. After Abhinav Bindra, in 2008, an entire nation awaits the emergence of another star this Olympic year.

Hopes of medals from our shooters and boxers abound, but the archers cannot be ignored.

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Image: Abhinav Bindra


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All eyes on the Sports Bill

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As we look forward to the various leagues in hockey, football, basketball and boxing, run on the lines of the Indian Premier League, those behind them must take advantage of the Olympic year and back sportspersons in their respective associations to attain the pinnacle of success and take away sponsors eating out of the hands of cricketers and the cricket board.

Also, it is time the Sports Bill comes into force. Its enactment could trigger a revolution and change the face of Indian sport.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken has already, in some way, charted a course that could be the turning point by challenging the BCCI's authority, notwithstanding the fact that a host of MPs hold high office in either national or state-level associations.

So, the BCCI coming under the purview of the Sports Bill is Maken's biggest hurdle.

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Image: Sports Minister Ajay Maken
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: BCCI , Ajay Maken , Bill

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Focus on Champions League, EPL

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The early part of the year promises much excitement, with the Champions League knock-out rounds and the English Premier League at a crucial stage. India's football fans could be oblivious of the fact that the I-League exists.

Salgaocar or Dempo or East Bengal winning the pennant will be secondary to Barcelona defending their Champions League crown or Manchester City or United winning the EPL.

But there is hope that the I-League will see light at the far end of the tunnel, as FIFA's Goal Project and other infrastructural developments, like building of stadiums and football grounds, takes shape in the coming months.

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Image: Barcelona's Lionel Messi, the world's best football player today


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Indian hockey, still in limbo

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Indian hockey is in shambles, with games being played outside the astroturf.

With the Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India tug-of-war refusing to die down, it is the sport and players who have become victims.

Let's hope -- against hope -- that over the next few months we'll see the two factions shake hands and work towards regaining lost glory.

In 2010 Indian athletes came up with astounding performances at the Commonwealth Games, but the joy was short lived as many of those who graced the podium tested positive for banned substances.

Though most of them cried ignorance, and one would like to believe them, hopefully, they would have learnt their lessons and regain winning ways in the new year.

Before teeing off to India's religion, a few thoughts on Tiger Woods. Having hit a low in 2011, after licking the wounds from revelations of extramarital affairs, he is preparing hard for a comeback.

I am counting on him returning to his winning ways this year.

Go on, Tiger, bring back that thundering roar!

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Image: India's Sandeep Singh, left, in action


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Indian Cricket vs the Olympics

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In 2012, cricket will literally compete with the Olympics.

The Olympics may take a beating from IPL fever, but the real test will be in July-August when the Games are on and India tours Sri Lanka.

I am not a sadist, but how about a Sachin Tendulkar 100th ton versus the Olympics, that is if the Little Master fails to achieve that remarkable landmark in Australia?

That will be the real test of cricket loyalists. Would they go after the 'God of cricket' or support the making of a new hero at the Olympics?

Fingers crossed.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar


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