It’s almost time for the London Olympics to begin people and it’s going to heat up the summer even more this time around!
Although it’s no secret that Pakistan is not going to be a front runner in the final medals tally but we may just have a secret weapon up our sleeve… Hockey!
Yup, I don’t know if you know or not but Pakistan has won a total of 10 medals in the Olympics out of which 8 have been in hockey: 3 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze. The other two were bronze medals won for wrestling and boxing each.
It might also interest you that in the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, Pakistan’s Syed Hadi Haider Naqui secured a Bronze Medal in Tae-Kwon-Do, but as Tae-Kwon-Do was a demonstration sport and was not given full status, the medal is not officially recognized and not added to Pakistan’s official tally of medals at the Olympics.
For the London Olympics, other than hockey, Pakistan has managed to bag a wild card entry in athletics and swimming. In addition to this, the Pakistan Olympic Association is also hopeful of getting a wild card entry in shooting. There is also a possibility that the rowing team gets a wild card entry. But this depends on their showing at the Asian Olympic Qualifying Regatta in South Korea.
Well, I for one am NOT keeping my hopes pinned on any of these wildcard entries as history tells us that it is hockey which is our most promising forte.
(Cool Fact: Did you know that the gold medal we won in the 1960 Olympic games in Rome ended India’s streak of six successive gold medals?)
Even the Pakistan Olympic Association secretary Mr. Khalid Mahmood thinks so.
“Our main hope is hockey,” says Mehmood. “We have a rich Olympics history in hockey and our team has the potential to do well. We cannot hope for medals in athletics, swimming or in shooting citing our international standings which is very low in these disciplines. But we will be more than happy if athletes are able to put on a good show.”
This does seem negative, but alas one has to agree as it is the truth.
Why Hockey Even After a Pathetic Show at the 2008 Olympics?
Well I know that Pakistan’s hockey team put on a dismal show at the Beijing Olympic games held in 2008 where they ended up a devastating eighth, but since then – if you remember – we won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Hockey.
This summer the contingent that will travel to London will be of at least 36 people with the Pakistan Olympics Association’s Vice-President and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Sports Minister, Syed Akil Shah, the contingent’s chief de mission. This number will increase by 2 if we acquire a shooting wild card entry and by much more if we also get one in rowing.
Although the Olympics has not traditionally been the arena of choice for our sportsmen to make us proud, still here’s to hoping that just like in 1960, 1968 and 1984 we bring back the gold in field hockey and – unlike countless other times – our Olympics contingent makes us proud.