'Giving equal importance to every sport'

Pullela Gopichand celebrates with the trophy after winning the men's singles title at the Yonex All England Championships in Birmingham.   -  John Gichigi/ALLSPORT

Sportstar has been a truly iconic sports magazine. I vividly remember the days when I was about 10 years old, frequently visiting the roadside stalls on Sundays in Abids to buy the back issues. For me it was the only magazine which covered every discipline. Though, cricket —quite naturally — got that extra mileage.

I always longed to see the poster of the great Prakash Padukone — my favourite. The posters of some of the legends like Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker, Steffi Graf to name a few used to adorn the walls at my home. The sheer quality always stood out.

Initially, badminton got lesser coverage. But gradually, it found its place more frequently. When I won the 2001 All England Championship, I remember my own poster with the backdrop of the historic India Gate in Delhi.

The best part was that it always featured all the Nationals in any discipline and many athletes used to eagerly await the issue after the events to see their names and photos. Such was the aura of the magazine!

Unfortunately, the youngsters of current generation will not be having the same kind of inspiration because of the changed scenario in the media and the advent of social networking sites. But, for all of us of those times, it was a huge motivation.

(As told to V. V. Subrahmanyam)

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