19 April, 2021

A Slim Harvest

Olympic prowess radiates power. A sporting culture is the key to it.

A Slim Harvest


Let’s begin with some history. In the 1900 Olympic Games at Paris, Norman Pritchard was placed second in the 200m sprint and 200m hurdles. This was fantastic achievement by a man ostensibly on a holiday in France and whose aim was to act in films, which he eventually did. But it’s his legacy as a runner that has greater appeal—and created a controversy that still endures. England claimed Pritchard’s two medals to be theirs since he was of English descent. But a counter-claim by India, since Pritchard was born in Calcutta and participated in athletics meets in the Bengal presidency for several years, raised a vexing dispute. Olympic historians assign the two medals to England, while the International Olympic Committee gives these to India. Contrived as this may be, it remains a matter of consternation that after...

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