Maybe It’s Not Dope, It’s Adrenaline




That particular day, I can proudly say I was there. I count myself among the lucky few.

Maybe it’s not Dope, it’s Adrenaline

Maybe it’s not Dope, it’s Adrenaline

I was among the 50000 spectators who packed the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi during the Commonwealth Games 2010. It had been a great past 2-3 days for Indian athletics. We had swept the Discus Throw and won medals in varied events like Triple Jump and Men’s 4x100m relay.

I reached well before time for the final event for athletics in the Games, the showpiece women’s 4x 400m relay.

It’d be really difficult to describe the atmosphere out there. In short, it was magical. The noise was deafening. Chak de India and Vande Mataram were repeatedly being played on the loud speakers.

One could almost sense that there would be a fairytale ending to this event .The most extraordinary of grandstand finishes.

And they didn’t disappoint.

The team of Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur ran a spirited race, with Mandeep specially running an excellent last leg, fending off the challenge of the 400m Hurdles champion of the Games to give India the gold.

Everyone could see that the girls had run their heart out. With 50000 partisan spectators cheering exclusively for you, one is entitled to feel goose bumps and certain stiffness in the leg muscles!! Even if they were nervous, they didn’t show it. They ran a very professional race and won India their last athletics medal in the final athletics event of the Games.

I was there, and shouted my lungs out. Chak de India and Vande Mataram were put on repeat on the loud speakers. We joined in. Vande Mataram was echoing in the air. Mind – numbing. You could see that we spectators were starved of sporting successes. And now that we did have something to cheer about, we didn’t hold back.

The girls did a victory lap after the race, and were met with applause and adulation from every stand.

During the medal ceremony, the moment the National Anthem started playing, one couldn’t hold back. Patriotic fervour filled my heart.

Yes, I was there.

And now I hear of this dope scandal hitting the very same athletes who had competed and won right in front of my eyes. It’s hard to believe, but it may well be true. The athletes themselves have pleaded innocence. One can‘t really blame them. After all, they are under the mentorship of their coaches.

Whether they are guilty or not, that’s for the concerned authorities to ascertain.

But from what I saw that starry evening at the Nehru Stadium, it could very well be that they were running solely on adrenaline, a drug a million times stronger than any.

Fifty thousand spectators cheering exclusively for you.  A chance to write yourself into a billion hearts. Motivation wouldn’t have been hard to find.

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