Sindhu, who has been in self-quarantine after returning from Birmingham earlier this month, says. “It’s been 12 days now that I have not left my room.” In isolation. But not cut off.
With all the time she has, Sindhu has been closely following the outbreak of Covid-19. She rattles off the timelines and trajectories of the virus spread in different countries, the measures taken by countries and statements made by some leaders. Sport, in these trying times, seems rather trivial to her.
“It’s good that they are cancelling all tournaments. Even the Olympics,” Sindhu says.
Majority of Indian athletes have reacted with mixed emotions to the International Olympic Committee’s decision of pushing forward the Tokyo Games until next year. For Sindhu, a silver medalist from the Rio Games, postponing the Olympics was the most obvious choice. Not just because athletes’ training plans have been disrupted because of the global lockdown but Sindhu says this isn’t the time to play purely because of the gravity of the current situation.
“Every week, every day, the numbers have been increasing,” Sindhu, who has donated Rs 5 lakh each to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana relief funds, says. “People have been telling me, ‘this was your dream… now the Olympics are postponed.’ But life comes first, then the Olympics.”
The words ‘life comes first’ play on a loop during the conversation. As on Friday, the virus has claimed more than 25,000 lives and had spread in 200 nations. “So I don’t think it was a bad decision to postpone (the Olympics) because we don’t have any other choice. People are dying out there. Life comes first.”