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The journey of India at the Olympics over the years

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The first Olympics were held in 1896 in Athens and India sent its first athlete to the Summer Olympics for the 1900 Games, but an Indian national team did not compete at the Summer Olympics until 1920. India then sent a team to the 1920 Olympics, two wrestlers, and managers Sohrab Bhoot and A. H. A. Fyzee. The Indian Olympic movement was then established during the 1920s

In 1923, a provisional All India Olympic Committee was formed, and in February 1924, the All-India Olympic Games (that later became the National Games of India) was held to select a team for the 1924 Summer Olympics. The Indian delegation at the Paris Olympics comprised seven athletes, seven tennis players and team manager Harry Buck.

In 1927, the provisional Indian Olympic Committee formally became the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The main motive was to promote the development of sports in India, choose host cities for the national games, and send teams selected from the national games to the Summer Olympics. Thus, at the 1928 national games, it selected seven athletes to represent India at the next Summer Olympics, with Sondhi as manager. By this time, the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) had also been established and it sent a hockey team to the Summer Olympics. The national hockey team was similarly sent to the 1932 Games along with four athletes and one swimmer and 1936 Games with four athletes, three wrestlers, one weight-lifter, along with three officials headed by team manager Sondhi.

The Indian field hockey team dominated the Olympics from 1928 to 1936, winning an unprecedented three consecutive titles. In the 1928 Summer Olympics final, India defeated the Netherlands 3 – 0. It was a great achievement for the fact that it was the first gold medal won by any nation from Asia at the modern Olympic Games. In 1932 at the Summer Olympics, India defeated the United States 24 – 1, the largest margin of victory in Olympics history. In the 1936 Summer Olympics final they defeated Germany 8 – 1, the largest margin of victory ever in an Olympic final.

Recently, at the 2016 Summer Olympics, a record number of 118 athletes competed. Sakshi Malik became the first Indian woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal with her bronze medal in the Women’s freestyle 58 kg category. Shuttler P. V. Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal in the Olympics and also the youngest Indian Olympic medalist.

In the 2020 Summer Olympics held in 2021, India was represented by a new record number of 124 athletes. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu secured a silver in the weightlifting women’s category of 49 kg on the opening day itself, this was the first time India won a medal on the opening day of any Olympics. Later, P.V. Sindhu defeated China’s He Bingjiao in the bronze medal match in straight games, thus becoming the first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals. 

Neeraj Chopra won the gold in the Javelin, becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in track and field and the second Indian to win an individual gold in Men’s Field Hockey India won a bronze medal. This medal came after a gap of 41 years, the last medal having been previously won in Moscow 1980. In wrestling, Ravi Kumar Dahiya won a silver medal, and Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal. Olympic debutant Lovlina Borgohain took bronze in women’s boxing, and in the process became only the second woman to win an Olympic medal. The haul of 7 medals is the best performance for India in Olympics history, and is hopefully a stepping board to greater things.

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The IPL’s billion dollar play: Meet the 2 new franchises

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) made a statement about its enduring allure and value as the BCCI announced the introduction of two new franchises for the 2022 season and beyond. These two new teams, to be based in Lucknow and Ahmedabad, brought in an early Diwali Bonanza as they saw the coffers of cricket’s richest body swell by more than USD 1.6 billion.

RP Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) and CVC Capital Partners (Irelia Company Pvt Ltd) were the winning bidders, with RPSG paying INR 7090 crore (USD 940 million) for the Lucknow franchise on Monday during a walk-in bidding event in Dubai, while CVC, a private equity company, paid INR 5625 crore for the Ahmedabad franchise (USD 750 million approx.). RPSG’s bid was approximately 250% more than the BCCI’s base price for the franchise (of INR 2000 crore, or approximately USD 270 million.

The bid signals RPSG’s at-any-cost intent to get a foothold at IPL’s big money table, with their bid dwarfing the next highest bid of INR 5166 crore for the Lucknow franchise. This also highlights how the cost for owning a franchise has surged dramatically, with the average cost of the initial eight teams being just shy of a “mere” USD 100 million. For context, Mukesh Ambani’s bid of USD 112 million for the Mumbai Indians was the highest bid in 2008. The BCCI money men are left counting the money, with cricket’s richest governing body set to earn INR 12,715 crore over the next decade.

“It is good be back in the IPL and I am delighted. It is an initial step. We now have to build a good team and perform,” Sanjiv Goenka, owner of the RPSG said. Previously, Goenka owned Rising Pune Supergiant that played two seasons when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned. The Lucknow-based team will be playing their home fixtures at Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium- a recently opened stadium accommodating almost 50,000 people.

CVC Capital is a global investment firm with operations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. They previously owned a minority share in Formula One and recently purchased a minority stake in La Liga, Spain’s top-flight football league. The Narendra Modi Stadium, the world’s largest cricket stadium, will be their home. It has a capacity of 132,000 people.

“The BCCI is happy to welcome two new teams from the next season of the Indian Premier League. I would like to congratulate RPSG Ventures Ltd and Irelia Company Pte Ltd for being the successful bidders. The IPL will now go to two new cities in India, viz. in Lucknow and Ahmedabad. It is heartening to see the inclusion of two new teams at such a high valuation, and it reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of our cricket ecosystem,” BCCI President Saurav Ganguly said in a statement.

The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play 7 home and 7 away matches.

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India’s looming power crisis inches ever closer

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A power catastrophe is looming in India amid the global energy crisis, with the country’s power facilities running on critically low coal inventories. In the face of growing demands, three out of four power plants in the country have less than a week’s supply of coal on hand. Many states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu, have been affected by the coal shortage.

The reason for the coal crisis in India is the pandemic, which has caused disruptions like never before. When compared to the same period last year, power usage has increased by over 17% in the last two months. Power plants have little incentive to increase production because it is difficult to raise the price that consumers pay for electricity. In the case of coal, despite having the world’s fourth-largest reserves, domestic producers in India are unable to fulfill ever-rising demand.  

After China, India is the world’s second-largest coal importer. However, importing coal has become difficult due to record-high international coal prices as a result of increased worldwide demand. India’s government feels it is on the right road as it strives to reduce emissions by 33 percent by 2030 and ensure that renewable energy accounts for around 40 percent of its installed power capacity.  

An expert in this field said that an investment in multiple power sources, a mix of coal and clean sources of energy is the right way to go for now. 

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Squid Game, Netflix’s runaway hit that almost never got made

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Squid Game has wrapped its tentacles around a global audience in less than three weeks.

Since its premiere on September 17, the #1 Netflix Korean drama about financially desperate people fighting in a high-stakes tournament has only grown in popularity.

That’s why it came as a shock to find that Squid Game author and director Hwang Dong-hyuk was rejected by a slew of studios when he first proposed the idea more than a decade ago.

The notion was previously deemed “too ugly and impractical” by studios, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While living with his mother and grandmother, Hwang Dong-hyuk came up with the idea for Squid Game, but he had to put the script on hold and sell his laptop to make ends meet.

Hwang believes that the classist concerns that were brought to the forefront during the pandemic’s peak were a factor in Netflix’s decision to buy the show two years ago.

Squid Game has now been subtitled and dubbed in 31 languages. It’s also at the top of the charts in over NINETY COUNTRIES.

With over 17 million views, the trailer for Squid Game has now exceeded those of Bridgerton and Lupin.

Netflix’s VP of content for Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, Minyoung Kim, claims that “nothing has ever grown as swiftly and aggressively as Squid Game.”

Those studios that first turned down Hwang’s concept appear to have made a huge mistake.

With the show growing from strength to strength, and audiences riveted and waiting for more, studios will surely be ruing the decision not to pick up the show earlier.

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