When I was requested by the Editor of this newsletter to pen my thoughts on an issue of my choice or a mixture of them, I was all at sea. How and where to begin? What should be my message to readers of this publication? However, after initial hesitation, I gathered myself and then words started flowing.
The last year has been a year of topsyturvy for many. Covid had impacted everybody around the world; doubts had enveloped a majority; the future seemed bleak and optimism was a far cry. These are exactly the kind of situations we sportspersons want to avoid. Yet, there are uncanny similarities in our lives and what happened during the pandemic and even post-pandemic. I feel one of the reasons why sports and sportspersons were able to cope with the impact of Corona and even inspire others was because of these anxieties they go through almost regularly and, in most cases, overcome. We know how to take defeats in our stride; we know we, too, have bad days in our respective arenas; there are times when we just want to give up, and then there are those moments that we yearn for.
Sports has always been a catharsis for many, will be more so now in a post-pandemic new world. When the Tokyo Olympics were postponed for the first time, it was a setback for the sporting world. Yet, when they were organized a year later, pessimism was already on the backburner. One of the hallmarks of a true sportsperson is that she can leave behind the past more easily than her fans! Now, the past could be one of bad performance or even a moment of glory like my bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics. For I know resting on that laurel will yield me no dividend. I need to improve that extra inch, improve upon that extra second that will make the difference between a silver and a gold or a loss and a win.
Yet, we, too, are human beings. We celebrate success and are dejected by defeat. Even though I won a bronze for my country, I, too, was upset with my defeat. But with the love from the people of the country, and more so my beloved Assam, I could easily forget that day of August 4, 2021 when I missed out on a shot at the gold. However, I want to assure you all that I am focused on doing well for my State and my country in the international arena, especially the Paris Olympics of 2024.
I am also beholden to the Government of Assam for showering me, on behalf of its people, love and blessings and encouraging me to go a step or two further. The State Government has assured me all support and have taken decisions that are going to benefit the next generation in the State to take sports seriously and with gusto. Joi Ai Axom.