Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Close But No Cigar

Just returned yesterday from Kuwait which everyone knows was a disappointment to many since India lost out to Korea to host the 2014 Asian Games.
It was the first time that i have ever been to such an event and it was interesting how the bidding process works. The atmosphere at arrival was jubilant and upbeat, the Indian camp seemed to be exuding with confidence. Everyone spoke of how the bid was pretty much in the bag and were almost on the verge of planning how they were going to run the games.
Well ofcourse there is the usual stuff like presentations which is supposed to convince the voters but it is the stuff behind the scenes that is more interesting. Sports which in acutality is so pure and is a test at overcoming adversity and fear is a really dirty business. The people from all over the world are there just to grab as much as they can get their hands on.
I don't have any idea as to how this all exactly works but over and above the promises that are made in the "official" presentation there are a lot of dealings. It canrange anywhere from a drink at the bar to being offered a Samsung dealership and all the stuff that may fall in between just to get a vote. I can't tell you how this is done or who is busy formulating a strategy to get this done because i don't know but these are all the whisperings that one hears while just hanging around.
India had a contingent there of about 200 strong (you know how our officials would never miss out on a free trip). What role everyone had there is ambiguous at best but for most of us were there just for support.
Going in I was indifferent as to whether we got the bid or not. I actually felt that deep down they would do a better job than us since they have a lot more experience. However while sitting there watching they presentation and how they talked about our great country and people I could feel the patriotism creeping in. By the end of it we were all nervous and when the decision did finally arrive i would be lying if i said i wasn't disappointed.
Every athlete dreams about achieving big goals and to have the opportunity to realize those dreams on home turf make it that much sweeter. However the one thing that is common between sports and its business side is that there is no guarantee to victory.


G Rajaraman said...

From indifference to disappointment is but a short step, isn't it?

Would have liked a bit more on how the two presentations were different? Did we use our athletes well enough to showcase India? Did that compare with how the Koreans used their champions?

Manisha Malhotra said...

Their presentations was more sport specific and on the whole more professionally done. Ours was the same ads as we see for "Incredible India" campaign and we didn't have any athletes to showcase... Ours was a more passionate presentation, but that was just because the koreans seem very stoic and could just by my interpretation.
However their portrayal of the city and its various stadia was more credible because they have created it in the past. We don't exactly know what we are doing on that front.
Anyway from what i understand it is pretty much a done deal by the time the presentations come along anyway.