Poor Performance of India at the Olympics

India is a cricket crazy nation and there is no denying the fact that India has fared considerably well in the sport over the years. But cricket is hardly played in 10-15 countries around the world. Any country certainly would not want to be branded as a single sport country. To earn the respect of the sporting world, India needs to focus on various sports and it needs to perform on a much bigger stage like the Olympics.

The Olympics is regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition. From 241 participants representing 14 nations in 1896, it has grown to about 10,500 competitors from 204 countries at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Games are seen as a platform to showcase the sporting abilities of a nation and India has a dismal record to say the least at the Olympic Games.

India’s entry into Olympics


India was officially represented for the first time at the Olympic Games in 1924 at Paris. The Indian Olympic Association was formed three years later in 1927. The 1928 Olympic Games at Amsterdam were a turning point in India’s sporting history. For, in that year, India made its debut in international hockey and won the Olympic title in a blaze of glory. Thereafter India won six consecutive Olympic hockey gold medals (1928–1956), completely dominating the game in the world. This is the why hockey was made our national game.

But apart from the domination in field hockey, India has never been a force to reckon with in the Olympic Games. Till date India has taken part in 30 Olympic Games and has managed to win only 20 medals, which is absolutely baffling considering the fact that we are the second most populous country in the world. For a country of more than 120 crore people, all we have against our name is a mere 20 medals.

No wonder, India holds the dubious record for being the country with the lowest number of total Olympic medals per-capita in the world. Out of the total of 26 sports and 302 events in the Olympic Games, India has only won medals in 9 sports and has not tasted success ever in more than 15 sports.

Various countries performance at the Olympics


  • The United States of America stands tall among all the other nations even in this aspect grabbing a total of a whopping 2,549 medals from 46 Olympic Games
  • Germany has always been a force to reckon with in Olympic Games; since 1896 it has managed to win 1,099 medals from the 41 Olympic Games that it has participated in
  • The Great Britain has won 737 medals till now from 47 Olympic Games
  • Australia has won 441 medals from its 41 representations in the Olympic Games
  • The Chinese participated in the Olympic Games for 17 times, their total medal tally is 417 which is pretty high especially for 17 outings
  • France has almost similar statistics as the Great Britain. In 47 Olympics Games, France won a total of 730 medals

India is considered as the knowledge capital of the world, India competes with all developed nations in almost all crucial aspects. But as far as the Olympics performance goes, one can only bow down his head in shame. Even the countries which are under developed and backward to India in almost most of the aspects are also way better than India at the Olympics.

  • Ethiopia has 38 medals from 18 Olympics
  • Iran has 48 medals from 23 Olympics
  • Kenya has 75 medals from 15 Olympics
  • Morocco has 21 medals from 17 Olympics
  • Nigeria has 23 medals from 14 Olympics
  • India has 20 medals from 30 Olympics

We do not have shortage of talent. The athletes may not have shortage of passion or enthusiasm towards their sport. What our athletes fall short of is an environment that allows excellence to develop.

Olympic medals go to the very best in a certain field. In order to actually be the very best among dozens of talented people from all over the world, a talented sports person needs all kinds of help in order to win against people with similar talent. They need to train for long and better than the other good athletes; from techniques to coaches, physiotherapist to diet. As well as understanding the latest developments in the sport and how to adapt to those developments so that they can beat the other athletes for the medals. All this requires an environment that allows excellence to prosper.

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