13 June, 2021

A Bubble Shot Through

By callously bungling on Covid norms, India’s top sports institution has allowed the virus to breach elite training camps, leaving athletes and staff vulnerable ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

Sudden Blow
Members of the women’s hockey team in a practice session. Seven of them tested Covid positive.
A Bubble Shot Through

The hike to Mount Olympus is a fraught one: you have to be one of the gods’ own to avoid the crevasses and avalanches. India’s Olympic dreams seem to have hit a ‘rough’ even as COVID-19 threatens to ruin the Summer Games in Tokyo. With less than 11 weeks remaining for the Games to begin, several top Indian athletes still do not know if they will make the cut. And, with the pandemonium unleashed by the pandemic, many athletes who have qualified are not sure if they will be at the peak of their performance levels. The biggest cause for concern is the safety of athletes and support staff in national camps at the Sports Authority of India centres in Bangalore, Patiala and elsewhere. If the number of Covid positive cases at SAI centres is anything to go by, it seems the well-being of India’s top athletes and coaches is seriously compromised. This, too, reflects India’s creaking healthcare system so ruthlessly exposed by the pandemic.

The dire second wave has hit travel plans of top athletes who are aspiring to qualify for the Olympics. The...

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