How bad is Pakistan in Olympics?

Published: August 10, 2016
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Flagbearer Ghulam Mustafa Bashir (PAK) of Pakistan leads his contingent during the opening ceremony. 
PHOTO: REUTERS

Flagbearer Ghulam Mustafa Bashir (PAK) of Pakistan leads his contingent during the opening ceremony. PHOTO: REUTERS

Early on Wednesday morning, news arrived from Rio de Janeiro that American swimmer Michael Phelps has won his 20th and 21st Olympic gold, which is the most by any athlete in the Games’ history.

While achieving this honour, statistics prove that if he had been listed as a country, he would be the 39th most successful in the history of the Olympic Games.

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We as a country take pride in our sporting history with numerous great achievements, but our record suggests that at least at the Olympic level, Pakistan stands nowhere on the list, not even against an individual like Michael Phelps.

While Phelps has 25 Olympic — 21 gold — medals in total, a country of more than 200 million people has so far won just 10 medals in its sporting history at Olympics. Three of those are golds — all won by the hockey team, with the last one coming in at the 1984 Games.

We have to go at least 24 years back to 1992, when Pakistan last won a medal in the world’s biggest multi-sporting event, where the hockey team won a bronze medal after beating Netherlands 4-3.

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And it is no surprise that Pakistan’s hockey team — usually the country’s strongest side in Olympics — failed to qualify for the Games for the first time in their history, coinciding with the overall downfall of sports in the nation. The prevalent system fuels the stranglehold of officials instead of promoting and producing athletes, and perhaps that’s why the world’s sixth largest country by population sent its smallest ever contingent at the Olympics, which included just seven athletes and 17 officials.

Pakistani athletes in Rio Olympics 2016:

Lianna Swan (Swimming)

Shah Hussain Shah (Judo)

Najima Parveen (Athletics)

Haris Bandey (Swimming)

Mehboob Ali (Athletics)

Minhal Sohail (Shooting)

Ghulam Mustafa Bashir (Shooting)

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Insaaf
    Aug 10, 2016 - 5:58PM

    7 athletes and 17 officials? Should it not have been the other way around? We are spending more tax-payers money on “officials” who are there for a free ride rather than on our athletes.Recommend

  • SHAH
    Aug 10, 2016 - 6:56PM

    Only 17 officials ??? It should have been 1 athlete and 17 officials with their families.. free trip, free vacation all paid by tax payers money; This is my Pakistan, my Corrupt Pakistan, Corrupt to the Core from the PM himself to all and everybody to the lowest cadre; Wow, how is it possible that honest people will be able to rise; we ourselves are on the skid row and sliding at speeds blinding our minds and conscience; Recommend

  • ShareefZadi
    Aug 10, 2016 - 9:24PM

    Its not our mistake its Olympic committee mistake,,, There should be an event, Country watching and searching most Porn content and Self service…. Then No one would be able to defeat Us.. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 10, 2016 - 9:27PM

    @Insaaf:
    For any international event or meeting, you can always count on a group of officials from Pakistan who literally fight tooth and nail to get to participate in that event regardless of whether their participation is actually warranted !Recommend

  • curious2
    Aug 10, 2016 - 11:05PM

    Rather than focus on medals why not focus on participation? USA tends to have about 550 athletes competing in the games – using that as a benchmark Pakistan should have well over 300 athletes not 7 ……. that’s your problem.Recommend

  • Lolz
    Aug 11, 2016 - 2:03AM

    Keep eating cricket Pakistan! Recommend

  • Sadia
    Aug 11, 2016 - 9:07AM

    How can you even compare USA Olympians to Pakistani athletes. Their government supports them in every way while ours could care less about sports. They celebrate their athletes while ours go unnoticed..unless it’s cricket. That too is in terrible shape. Recommend

  • Grammar
    Aug 11, 2016 - 1:18PM

    “at the Olympic level, Pakistan stands nowhere on the list, not EVEN against an individual like Michael Phelps.”
    I think you used the word EVEN incorrectly. If Phelps were a country, he’d have beaten 160 other countries in the medal tally. So please don’t say EVEN against an individual like Phelps.
    You should say ‘even against many individual players”.Recommend

  • Grammar Nazi
    Aug 11, 2016 - 1:18PM

    “at the Olympic level, Pakistan stands nowhere on the list, not EVEN against an individual like Michael Phelps.”
    I think you used the word EVEN incorrectly. If Phelps were a country, he’d have beaten 160 other countries in the medal tally. So please don’t say EVEN against an individual like Phelps.
    You should say ‘even against many individual players”.Recommend

  • muhammad abbas ahmed
    Aug 12, 2016 - 4:25PM

    a good view.

    you did not mention any new sports facilities provided by the ministry of sports in last 25 years. our stadiums, pools, courts are all built before the last 25 year period. keeping facilities on one side, and their maintenance in accordance with industry standards on other side, there are not any Sporting events on national level other than the recent PSL of cricket.
    what our ministry lacks is a Vision!
    they desperately need a defined Vision from which they can make a proper strategy to go forward and plan accordingly on how to go about.Recommend

  • @sadia
    Aug 17, 2016 - 5:50PM

    Actually the US government doesn’t fund its Olympic athletes at all, all the funding is the responsibility of the US Olympics committee, but of course they still receive a substantially higher amount in funding than the Pakistani team. But yeah not a surprise Pakistan does horrible in the Olympics…Recommend

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