BBC profile of Anju Bobby George

AnjuBobbyGeorge.jpg The BBC ran a great profile of long jump queen Anju Bobby George:

She’s the only Indian ever with a world championship bronze… On the runway she’s imposing, attractive, five feet 10 inches, her legs long, her elegant face carrying a hint of cosmetics… Ask her about the make-up and her giggle skitters down the phone line from Paris. She sees herself as an ambassador, and that means presentation is important… She stands there, visualises her jump, and in and out of her mind flow technique and prayer, asking perfection from herself and from Mother Mary…

When Anju competed in Madrid two weeks ago there wasn’t a single brown face in the audience. They know, they’ve looked… despite every achievement she has only one sponsor, Sobha Developers (though the government helps considerably). It is an absurd universe… “Imagine,” says Bobby, “Indian cricketers playing abroad without supporters, not even one.”

More here, here and here.

20 thoughts on “BBC profile of Anju Bobby George

  1. dude. she was like 6th place at the olympics. WAY out of contention for even a bronze. it is really pathetic for her to be profiled as “india’s great athlete”.

    seriously, they need to just cut their losses here rather than go on & on about “long jump queens” and “sprint queens” who never won any Olympic medals. Jackie Joyner Kersee and Florence Griffith Joyner and Marion Jones are “sprint queens”.

    if only the communists in the indian government weren’t so intent on destroying the economy, maybe we could return to the things some indians are good at – like software. :)

  2. GC, just communists? Not angry ethnic activist leftist communists? What about angry hindu activist leftist communists pinko bastards?? Or angry pacifistic hindu leninistic activist leftist communistic pinkos? So many choices to go with and you chose just communists — I think your getting soft..:)

  3. GC, just communists?

    sluggo, you have got to be one of the most ignorant debaters I’ve ever encountered, and it’s on display in thread after thread after thread. You didn’t know that the police & military were heavily Republican. You didn’t know that “f’ing till we’re all the same color” has done nothing for race relations in South America. You didn’t know that lawyers – academic and trial – are some of the biggest supporters of the Democratic party.

    And now you didn’t know that the Communist Party (Marxist) is part of the governing coalition in India. So here’s some more enlightenment for you:

    link:

    The Congress has 145 seats in parliament and the BJP 138. With its allies, the Congress has 219 seats and the BJP 186. Add the 62 seats won by the Communists, who didn’t campaign as Congress allies but have pledged their support, and the Congress crosses the halfway mark in the 545-seat parliament.

    more

    The more things change, the more India’s Communists remain the same. They seek to “independently apply Marxism-Leninism to Indian conditions,” and insist “world capitalism is incapable of solving the basic problems affecting humanity”. That is not all. The 40-year-old programme of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – or CPM – updated just once four years ago, tellingly, says: “Global mobile finance capital is assaulting the sovereignty of nations, seeking unimpeded access to their economies in pursuit of super profits.” Analysts say it is not surprising that foreign investors began selling heavily leading to India’s share market crash on Monday because the Communists are supporting the newly-elected Congress party central government.

    Thankfully Manmohan Singh became the finance minister, but YES there are communists in the Indian government and YES they are doing their best to destroy the economy by implementing caste-based quotas for incompetents.

    So: your colossal ignorance and seeming inability to google is matched only by your endless willingness to take me on in arguments despite a total absence of facts.

  4. She won bronze at the World Athletic Championships in Paris last year.

    it’s not the olympics. is she even close to a world record or on the all-time list? how many of the best people were there, and do they bring their A-game? And aren’t there a lot of “world championships”?

    I mean, it’s just kind of pathetic for a 6th place finisher at the Olympics to be the pride and glory of a billion plus people. Referring to her as a “long jump queen” is like referring to the honors student at your local CC as “gifted”.

    I guess she’s the smartest one on the short bus…

  5. gc: To those of us from India, there’s something very heroic about an Indian athlete (born and brought up in India) who even makes it to the international level. We know how hard it is for the average person to get the proper nutrition, training, or facilities required to compete with athletes from the rest of the world. Maybe in 5-10 years when the software money begins to trickle down and things get better uniformly, it will become commonplace for Indians to win medals in all sporting events. But until then, yes we are very proud of Anju George because she’s one of us who made it to the finals of the Olympics.

    And if the best my son or daughter could do would be to get on the honor roll of the local cc, I would be proud of that too. Anything wrong with that? Or is it something that should be ridiculed?

    If you think you’re fast, there’s always someone who is faster. If you think you’re smart, there’s always someone who is a lot smarter. And that’s not where it’s at.

  6. Maybe in 5-10 years when the software money begins to trickle down and things get better uniformly, it will become commonplace for Indians to win medals in all sporting events

    I really, really, really doubt it. Ethiopians and Kenyans do very well without it, and India is not that far behind China economically that China should come in 2nd in total medal count while India wins one medal.

    if the best my son or daughter could do would be to get on the honor roll of the local cc, I would be proud of that too. Anything wrong with that? Or is it something that should be ridiculed?

    If you boast about it and call your kid a “math queen”, yeah, it would be ridiculed. Remember, refusing to deny plaudits to scrubs is equal to entirely devaluing the props given to genuine achievement.

  7. gc: What is “genuine achievement?” It’s all very relative. Out of all the women from a country of one billion Anju George can jump the farthest. Isn’t that an achievement? Okay, so a handful of women on Earth can jump a few inches more. Does that diminish AnjuÂ’s skill or achievement?

    The same is true of a lot of students in community colleges who are there because they come from backgrounds where learning and education is not encouraged or they don’t know the English language well enough to enroll in a University. So for them, being on the honor roll is even more of an achievement than that of someone who aced the SAT and made the honor roll in a ivy-league school.

    Achievement is always within a context — by time (all records are broken sooner or later and all great discoveries are someday disproved or outdated) or value (if something is given high value by a society). People are interested in world records during the olympics but don’t really care about it at other times. Likewise people glorify military and armed personnel during times of war and forget about them once the conflict is over — sadly this means many of the wounded or the families of the dead don’t get the benefits that they need because the money that supports such programs is quickly taken away once the war is over. Nobody likes looking at disfigured vetrans in times of peace (the republician don’t like looking at them even during times of war). Just like no one likes having senile, ugly, old people hobbling around in our society — although some of these very people probably were high achievers, beautiful film stars, business magnates, ground breaking scientists, radical thinkers, and gold-medal olympians.

    Also IÂ’d rather be in India than in China, Ethiopia or Kenya.

  8. “(the republician don’t like looking at them even during times of war”

    Again, you make far fetched analogies and assumptions. The problem isn’t with Republicans or Democrats not wanting to take care of the injured Soldiers or Marines. It’s with the system and beauracracy that makes the process very uncomfortable and drawn out. A great picture was published during Reagan’s funeral where a Marine with both his arms amupatated was in a crisp salute at the casket in prosthetic arms. Obviously he did not feel that way. I am not saying that that is the absolute truth, far from it. But again, you seem to connect everything out to a certain Republican or conservative cause when that is simply not true.

    There have been Reps and Dems in power in either the White House (Carter or Clinton, Reagan, Bush) or the congress (80′s dems, 90′s Repubs) that could have taken care of this but have not.

    Back on Topic…

    You are correct that achievements are relative. But ultimately sports is about winning. You play the game to win.

    I don’t think GC is saying that our jong jumper here is a bad athlete, but more or less pointing to the pathetic condition of Indian sports that somone coming 6th in the olympics is heralded a queen.

    India has a billion people, in persepective, that is one sixth of the population of humans. For such a mass of people, there is an obvious lack of athletic organization to promote sports well.

    I have lived there and know how fragmented, unorganized, and uncoordinated the system is. There is societal pressure, lack of good coaching and facilities, and much more that does not tap this massive talent pool.

  9. it’s not the olympics. is she even close to a world record or on the all-time list? how many of the best people were there, and do they bring their A-game? And aren’t there a lot of “world championships”?

    The World Athletic Championships are Olympic-level competition in track and field. E.g. in the men’s 5,000 meters, the three medalists in Paris last year were the same three medalists at this year’s Olympics: El Guerrouj, Bekele and Kipchoge. So George’s bronze in Paris is quite notable.

  10. gc: What is “genuine achievement?” It’s all very relative.

    Sigh. The Juvenile Postmodernist “It’s all relative, man!” defense.

    Out of all the women from a country of one billion Anju George can jump the farthest. Isn’t that an achievement? Okay, so a handful of women on Earth can jump a few inches more. Does that diminish AnjuÂ’s skill or achievement?

    Yes, actually it does. The existence of those other women means you don’t give medals for 6th place.

    The same is true of a lot of students in community colleges who are there because they come from backgrounds where learning and education is not encouraged or they don’t know the English language well enough to enroll in a University. So for them, being on the honor roll is even more of an achievement than that of someone who aced the SAT and made the honor roll in a ivy-league school.

    No, it’s not more of an achievement. In the end you actually have to do something by real world standards, not by fuzzy PC self-esteem boosting standards.

    A CC is a CC for a reason. Almost everyone who goes there is not intelligent enough to make it to a real school. Finances are not an excuse – plenty of poor people can make it to real schools (e.g. via ROTC, for one). At some point you have to set a real-world metric. CC kids, by and large, aren’t smart or accomplished. It’s fine for their parents to think that, but it’s foolish for the rest of us to concede that.

    Contra El Presidente Bush, some children are going to be left behind.

    The World Athletic Championships are Olympic-level competition in track and field.

    Ok, well, you’d have to see a) whether the top long jump talent competed vs. her and b) what the absolute jump lengths were and whether she caught a lucky break from everyone else’s underperformance vs. her career best.

    You still give props for that, but hey, to be a “long jump queen” for a bronze at a non-olympic venue? It IS pathetic that this is the best a billion person country can do, and the first step in fixing the problem is acknowledging that it’s pathetic.

    It’s like someone 30 years old putting the fact that they got a 1300 on their SAT on their resume. First, it’s an ok score but not THAT great relative to the rest. Second, you’d expect someone 30 (or 25, for that matter), to have done lots of other stuff worthy of mention. Apologists who defend it can do so by mentioning that it’s above “average”. But the fact that they have to scrape for something like that screams “resume padder”.

  11. you’d have to see a) whether the top long jump talent competed vs. her

    Six of the top 8 women’s long jump finalists at the Olympics were also in the top 8 at the World Athletic Championships. Give it up, dude.

    to be a “long jump queen” for a bronze at a non-olympic venue?

    You seem mighty fixated on the word queen. Hmm… ;)

    the first step in fixing the problem is acknowledging that it’s pathetic.

    Try following the links in the story:

    There are many ways to slice India’s medal drought, all of them wince-worthy…
  12. gc: So how come there are no rich kids in the community colleges. According to your argument, El Presidente should have been there — not that he would have made the honor roll or anything.

  13. So how come there are no rich kids in the community colleges.

    Of course there are. Do you really want me to bludgeon you with stats on SES, IQ, enrollment, etc.?

    El Presidente should have been there

    Uhhh, no. I didn’t say that the dumb will always sink. What I said is that a CC degree indicates with high probability that you’re an academic scrub. Your mommy & daddy might be proud of you, but society isn’t – and shouldn’t be.

    Look, even you accept that at certain levels – e.g. president – incompetence just doesn’t cut it anymore. Is Bush smarter than most people? Sure, he had a 1200 on his SATs. But is he smart? No, and you look at that as a negative. You look at his record of screwups up to age 40 as just that: a record of screwups. Not a learning experience that should make us all proud of old Georgie’s ability to do well despite crippling cognitive odds against him.

    Case closed.

    As for the original topic, Anju George isn’t an athletic scrub, but she’s really not good enough to be celebrated by a billion people as some great athlete. When others brought their A-game at the Olympics, she lost pretty badly. 6th is not 1st or even 4th.

    And Manish, it wasn’t the author of the article who was avoiding a harsh reckoning with reality. It was T, and my comments were directed towards him.

  14. gc: Okay, show us some independent stats which prove that there is a proportionate number of kids from affluent families who attend community colleges. I have a friend who works in the financial aid office of one and that’s not what he tells me.

    As far as GWB, I don’t want to make a big deal of his academic inaptitude because I don’t think that means much in the real world or in his ability to lead the country (my problem with him is that his policies benefit only a very small minority). He is a likable person and some of his mistakes make him more human — I believe itÂ’s okay to be a little reckless in oneÂ’s youth, have a C average and to use the wrong word sometimes. That said, how come when you’re rich it’s a screw-up and when you’re poor you’re a loser. How come people like you, who believe religiously in an elitism based on academic, physical and social merit are so fanatical in your support of a candidate who has displayed none of those qualities?

  15. guyz no use arguing with GC … it seems he never got appreciation from anyone no matter wot he did cos it was’nt at the olympics :) .

  16. You deserve what you have achieved in your life….Bet of Luck And keep Performing… And try to become worlds number one.

    We are proud of you…

  17. Wow, I was just doing a google search on Anju and came up on this page. I’m a pro long jumper. Hey GC, your comments on Anju are old, but I wanted to put in my two cents. First, in the T&F world, the World Championships are just as competitive as the Olympics, especially since there are huge cash bonuses involved (upwards of 1/2 million dollars depending on performance) where as there is no money involved in the Olympics. I run for Santa Monica track club (JJK’s, FloJo’s and Carl Lewis’s club) and train in Los Angeles with the likes of Maurice Green, Allyson Felix, Eunice Barber. All these runners are considered the legends or soon-to-be-legends in their respective events, and we’ve all talked about Anju and her accomplishments, ESPECIALLY given that she comes from India where there are so few resources. 50% of what an athlete accomplishes are due to the support he/she receives. She’s more than a respectable “track queen” for India.

  18. Gc’s comments are indicative of his/her ignorance, plain and simple. You do not know of what you speak. BTW, she came in 3rd at the Prefontaine Race in Oregon…just behind MARION JONES, who we now know is a doper. Pretty impressive I would say. Sounds like another case of the indian crabs in the bucket trying to pull each other back down when anyone tries to make something of themselves. Small minded indeed!