Yes, India did win a second gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, besides the one bagged by Abhinav Bindra. Though not many are aware of it, Sunita Lamba was judged the ‘best artist’ in the Global Fine Arts Competition, where 10,000 artists participated from 80 countries. But unlike the media, industry and government hype surrounding the win of Bindra, Sunita’s feat has gone largely unnoticed.
Partho Burman talks to her in an exclusive interview for Headlines India here. Excerpt from the article:
The International Olympics Committee Chairman, He Zhenliang inaugurated the exhibition on August 11. The Olympics Fine Art committee selected Sunita’s 24-inches high bronze sculpture titled ‘Unity’ because it matched the theme of the exhibition – ‘One World’. “I finally managed to give it a shape after many trials-and-errors,” Sunita said. The exhibition would continue till September 20 and the artwork will further be showcased in other cities of China in the coming two years.
This success has not come easily to Sunita. She had to struggle to be able to compete and faced several hardships along the way. To top it, she did not receive any support from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and its president, Suresh Kalmadi, who refused to meet her before her departure.
Believe it or not, Sunita had to register herself for the participation and had to arrange her trip to Beijing all alone. No hands of support came from any organisation except the Olympic Committee which finally arranged her boarding in Beijing for just 10 days.
It is unfortunate that Sunita has not been accorded the recognition she deserves for her enormous achievement. No doubt Indian sports authorities have a long way to go before they can free themselves of bureaucracy and promote sports and sportspeople in the right spirit of the game. However, here at The Better India, we wish to pay our tribute to Sunita Lamba and tell her that as a nation, we are extremely proud of her.