Leander Paes – The Most Unsung Hero Of Indian Sports




Leander Paes

Leander Paes

How many of us are aware about the fact that when Leander Paes appears in the London Olympics, he would be having the rare distinction of featuring in six Olympics tournaments spread over a period of twenty years. Besides, he is India’s most successful Grand Slam winner who has pocketed 12 trophies so far and still is raring to go at the US Open, though he also a personal war to wage with sinus.

For Leander, his career revolves around Olympics and this would be probably the last time when he would play under the National Flag in London. The hunger for Olympics participation is an off-shoot of the influence from his father, who had participated in Olympics as a member of Indian Hockey squad. If he is able to participate in the London Olympics, he would have surpassed the record of Steve Redgrave, the rower from Britain, as London Olympics is scheduled in 2012.

For a player who rules the court in tennis in Mixed doubles as also in Doubles, it has been a long journey of personal triumph, passing through struggles, and personal battles. When Lance Armstrong could write a book about his personal battle against cancer to come out triumphant and give to the world one of the best motivational books, a day is not far-off when Leander should also be goaded into sharing his experience in the form of a printed document to serve as a monumental point of reference of surviving against all odds.

Parallel along with Sachin Tendulkar, he is one of the biggest sports icons the country has ever produced. But while the ad agencies have started a World Cup cricket campaign built around Sachin’s career, nobody has thought about doing the same with Leander Paes. Leander is one player who seldom finds reference in media bytes associated with sports, a quintessential family man, he thrives and relishes the company of his family, and when he is around in Mumbai always makes it a point to drop his daughter to school.

One only hopes that Leander is around for the next two years playing at his full potential to have another crack at Olympics. He has already started his own involvement with sports by setting a Leander Foundation whose main aim would be to develop better athletes and this he desires to achieve through better diet and lifestyle management of the athletes. Amen to that.

By: Suman Rai

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