The upcoming Rio Olympics, to be held from from August 5 to 21 will see an exceptional array of Indian and Chinese athletes that will demonstrate both nations growing emphasis on sport. While China will outshine India in taking home more medals, the increase in India’s delegation from 84 to 120 athletes, will hopefully bode her better than previous years.
For nations that prioritise academics over athletics, China and India have not only increased the number of delegates representing their country, but have also widened the events they are participating in. This shows that both nations are emphasizing on developing sport – a sign of a nations growth as she rises above basic developing nation issues of education, sanitation and housing. While neither nation is completely above any of these problems, the ability to simultaneously focus on sport signals both China and India are moving towards a more developed, well rounded and balanced society and economy.
The Chinese delegation includes 416 athletes, more than 3 times the Indian delegation of 120 delegates. In their 10th appearance at the Summer Olympics since China’s debut in 1952, 160 Chinese men and 256 Chinese women, who will compete in 210 events across 26 sports. China is expected to excel in Badminton, Basketball, Table Tennis, Diving, Swimming, Weightlifting, Shoooting and Gymnastics. China won the second largest number of medals at the 2012 London Olympics after the United States, 88 medals in total – 38 gold, 29 silver, and 21 bronze.
India on the other hand will send its largest ever contingent yet to Rio. The South Asian nation is expected to excel in shooting, badminton, wrestling, tennis and archery. Although India didn’t win any gold in the 2012 London Olympics, she expects to win medals for shooting and badminton in Rio. For a nation with the second largest population worldwide and participating in the Olympics since the 1920’s, India has done abysmally during the Olympics. In fact, China’s medals total in just the 2012 Olympics outpaced India’s total medal tally of 9 gold medals, 6 silver and 11 bronze medals, a total of 26 medals in 30 Olympics Games.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics. The next Olympics in 2020 will be held in Tokyo, Japan. Around 10,500 athletes from 206 countries are expected to take part in 17 days of the Olympiad, competing across 306 events. Two new sports have been added to the list – Golf and Rugby sevens replacing baseball and softball. Kitesurfing has also replaced windsurfing.