When you set out to achieve a top position but fall short, even if you end up with the second-best option, the achievement becomes sour and worthless.
The same is the case with Wrestler Ravi Dahiya, who yesterday won a Silver Medal in Wrestling Freestyle after he lost against Zavur Uguev (Russian Olympic Committee) in the men’s 57kg category final. He has previously lost against Uguev in the world championship final in 2019. After Sushil Kumar, the 23-year-old became the second Indian wrestler to earn a silver medal in Wrestling for the country.
Even though he won the 2nd highest honour of the event, Ravi was disappointed and said, “What’s the point of this?”. “I had come here with only one target, a gold medal. This is okay, but it’s not gold.”
When Dahiya hears of the impact his medal has already had, he may smile. Nahari, Dahiya’s village in Haryana, is getting a brand-new indoor stadium. Of course, the wrestler was unaware of this at the time. To prevent distractions, he had kept his phone shut off for several weeks, without even chatting to his parents. “But if I had won the gold medal, I’d have felt better,” he remarked.
The most difficult decision an Olympic athlete must make is whether to lose gold or earn silver.
Dahiya showed a great deal of bravery and tenacity in going toe-to-toe with his more skilled opponent. Despite earning silver, he went off the mat with a little demonstration and stood alone in one area of the arena.
“Maybe this experience will help. Who knows? I came here with full preparation to win a gold medal. Now, I have to live with the fact that I just have silver,” he said.
There is no doubt in Dahiya’s mind: he lost a gold medal.
It’s heartbreaking to witness an athlete squander a wonderful chance by an inch, and when this happens, the athlete feels discouraged. Perhaps now is the moment to teach our athletes that winning is essential, but not as important as mental health and harmony. Winning might seem monotonous at times, but it is the spirit of battling that motivates us to keep going.
We are proud of you, India Women’s Hockey Team, and all those athletes who just missed their moment in the spotlight; there is always another time. You will triumph if you maintain your positive attitude and vanquish your demons. This is true for everyone, not just athletes.
So far, India has won five medals in the Tokyo Olympics, two silver (Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Mirabai Chanu) and three bronze (PV Sindhu, Lovlina Borgohain, and the India Men’s Hockey Team).