Tendulkar: "With our athletes, especially when the chips are down"

Tendulkar pledged his support to India’s Olympic contingent, saying he is going to be "with our athletes, especially when the chips are down".

Sachin Tendulkar with the Indian athletes in Rio.   -  The Hindu

Hours after returning from Rio de Janeiro as a goodwill ambassador of India’s Olympic contingent, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has expressed his wholehearted support to the Indian athletes, saying he is going to be “with our athletes, especially when the chips are down”.

India’s biggest Olympic contingent hasn’t yet lived up to the expectations, failing to open the medal count in the first four days of competitions.

Asked at a promotional event on Wednesday about his experience in Rio, Tendulkar said he was overwhelmed with the experience.

“My time in Rio was incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with athletes and also went there to support them and watched various competitions. When you go there, you realise how hard they are competing and how hard they are pushing themselves. Olympics is the biggest sporting event and athletes prepare themselves for years and years,” Tendulkar said.

“And after all this preparation, you lose by a fraction, so there are ups and downs. Being a sportsperson myself, I understand how disappointing it is sometimes when things don’t go according to your plan. Not always are you able to execute your plans. There are various challenges, unexpected challenges. Something which matters to me truly is your intent, the way you go out and perform and represent your nation." Tendulkar added.

He remained positive about India's chances in the coming days.

“When I spent time with the athletes, I could feel that energy and I posted a tweet saying it was an honour and a privilege to be there among these champions.

Results sometimes go your way, sometimes they go against you. I feel when results don’t go your way that is the time I would like to support those athletes. Be with them, be behind them. The first half hasn’t gone according to our plan, our expectations. I am sure with our support, things will change and I for sure am gonna be with our athletes, especially when the chips are down."

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