Fouaad Mirza is an Indian knight in shining armour who leads the Equestrian dream
His contribution to Indian sport must be cherished and comes at a time when there is a resurgence in Indian sporting fervour
The big day is finally here. Numerous articles and videos have been made about Fouaad and his horses. We promise you that you will see more of that soon but this is one last piece on what this event truly means for the love of sport. Fouaad Mirza is all set to begin another sporting campaign for India and we pay a tribute to all that he has brought to the wide Indian world of sports.
The Bengaluru boy has a long association with horses and will ride out with Seigneur Medicott for the Dressage. It has been a long journey so far for him and it shall continue over the next few days with an attempt to win an Olympic medal in a sport that India has barely heard about.
One of the reasons for writing this article is to help spread the word about Equestrian. It is surprising that India, being a land of ancient kingdoms and civilisations, barely has any association with horses in modern day sporting events. We have proud Polo players and a few Equestrian events here and there with participation. But why and how has this sport gone under the radar for so long in India? The Olympics have come and gone with India having only 2 participants apart from Fouaad take part.
The other reason is that India's participation in Equestrian at the Tokyo Olympics itself needs to be celebrated . It is not just about it being a sport for the elite, rich, privileged etc. It is a landmark moment for India that has seen a slow but steady rise in unconventional sport participation. Fencing, gymnastics, judo and even swimming have all seen Indian representation at the Olympics this year. They have been hovering around in the undergrowth of the Indian sporting eco system for due to lack of investment and administrative lethargy regarding sport promotion. Tokyo 2021 has seen them in the limelight and trust us when we say this, sportspersons like Srihari Nataraj, Bhavani Devi, Pranati Nayak and all the countless others who have represented India are more than just talented sportspersons. They are brave souls who have weathered the ship of uncertainty. The ship that has battled discrimination, racism, sexism, abuse, ignorance and all the icebergs that India brings with it or its sportspersons. Fouaad Mirza is amongst those brave souls on a ship where everyone is the first mate. He has worked tirelessly to get to where he is today and his association and success with horses has been a long time coming.
As India sleeps, Fouaad will begin another day at the Tokyo Olympics. He is not the first Indian Equestrian and will not be the last. Watching on will be his proud parents, his dedicated stable boy who has been with his horses for over a decade and a few of us eccentric souls who dare to see the dark moon while sport goes on. Regardless of the result, Fouaad is the knight that India so desperately needed. His coat of arms will be the Indian flag whom he has proudly represented time and again. His sword is his will, perseverance and contribution to Equestrian in India.
He leads 1.3 billion people into battle and we are all right behind him.