It was a special moment when the Indian Men’s hockey team clinched the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics and broke the jinx of 41 years. Indian team forward Gurjant Singh who scored three goals at the Summer Games shared how success comes at a price. He believes that the medal-winning campaign has taught him and the entire team a lot.
The 26-year-old admitted that playing and trying to win medals at the Olympics are two entirely different ball games. “Participating and fighting for a medal is altogether a different ball game. Every team wants to win, and they also come fully prepared, they had also worked hard like us, so it’s not easy to win a medal at Olympics, and I reckon that was our biggest learning as well,” said Gurjant Singh.
“The whole journey from preparation to competing and winning a medal at the Olympics taught us that glory comes at a price, and the price was hard work. We had worked day and night, we worked on our physical fitness and mental fitness as well, we made a lot of sacrifices, and I think that paid off.”
Gurjant revealed how he was more excited than nervous. However, he agreed that before the quarterfinals he felt a bit of pressure. “I think the confidence and excitement level was more than the nervousness,” the Amritsar born hockey player revealed. “That feeling of representing your country, which has a very rich Olympics history in hockey, gives you extra confidence on the field. Yes, there was a bit of pressure in the Quarter Final match, but we managed it exceptionally well. We went on to win an Olympics medal after 41 years. I am fortunate that I was a part of it and could contribute to the team’s historic campaign.”
The forward went on to add how India should maintain the consistency and build on this historic achievement. He feels that Graham Reid’s men have the potential to change the colour of the medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
On speaking about the challenges ahead of him, Gurjant said, “It also doesn’t mean that things will become easy for us, and we will win medals easily in the future tournaments. Hence, our main aim will be to maintain consistency and build on this historic campaign. We have raised our standards, and it’s time to change the colour of this medal. However, we will have to approach step-by-step, there will certainly be more challenges ahead, and we need to be fully prepared for whatever comes our way.”