India’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Rio Olympics and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday stated that the Summer Games are the toughest battle ground for any sportsperson and representing a nation is not a joke.
"Olympics are the biggest and most competitive sporting event on Earth. It’s not a joke to represent one’s country. The athletes give their best in their efforts to win a medal. All the Indian athletes in Rio 2016 have my support," the legendary batsman said here at an event.
"They work for years and years but when you miss out narrowly, you obviously feel bad."
In a rebuttal of author Shobhaa De’s controversial tweet, Tendulkar said the athletes in Rio needed support when time doesn’t support you. "When the results don’t go your way, that is when you need to support them.
"The first half didn’t go our way but you have to support them when the chips are down," the Bharat Ratna added.
Shobhaa tweeted on Monday night: "Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao (Go to Rio). Selfies lo (Take selfies). Khaali haat wapas aao (Return empty-handed). What a waste of money and opportunity."
The 43-year-old Tendulkar who travelled to Rio to support the Indian contingent at the Olympics, also said he had an incredible time and enjoyed interacting with the athletes.
The former national captain reached Rio before India’s competitions started and spent time with members of the contingent at the Games Village.