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We Pulled it off!

On the last day of the Lusofonia Games 2014, ailment   Jan 29th, nurse the Wushu finals at the Multipurpose Indoor Stadium in Peddem were dedicated to bouts of Sanshou, or Sanda sub disciplines. Team India finished the final rounds of Taolu by raking in some moolah. The final rounds of Sanshou were in stark contrast to the graceful and elegant stances of Taolu. The adrenaline rush of power punches and stinging kicks filled the air as India went on to dominate and win all the matches.

At the end of the day and the Games, Jojo, the red cockerel icon with a white tee-shirt, awesome biceps (winglets if you like) and attitude, stood up tall and proud. His terracotta ancestors, with globe-shaped abdomens had kept cool stored drinking water in Goan kitchens. This evening, he lorded it over the closing ceremony at the Pandit Jawaharlal stadium in Fatorda.

As the flame of the Lusofonia Games 2014 died out, the Games flag was lowered and handed over to Mr Mario Rosa de Almeida (Secretary General, ACOLOP) by Goa’s Chief Minister, Mr. Parrikar. After felicitating the sportsmen an enthralling medley of entertainment followed. Parrikar spoke. He said it was time to work hard again for the state’s next sporting milestone: The National Games in 2016. “Goans got a chance to see an international standard event. We could see the sports-persons’ passion and enthusiasm. One does not become successful by accident or coincidence, but by sheer hard work. This is what these Games have shown us.”

We, who had seen the stadiums at the different places grow month by month, had been surprised at the speed that went contrary to the Goan spirit of susegaad. We were impressed, too, that our athletes could run like the wind, jump like hares, and play team games without quarreling amongst themselves. Conclusion: when Goans want to do something, they do it. And very well, too.

Mario Rosa de Almeida said so. He said: “We will never forget the kindness, smiles and support of the wonderful people of Goa. From the most professional organising staff, amazing volunteers, spectators and public, Goans have made these Games successful and memorable. You have shown the Lusofone world, your passion and heritage.” We, too, aren’t going to forget the lesson that when one attempts something and works at it, dreams can become realities. De Almeida then thanked the athletes: “…  for travelling from so far and celebrating respect, fair play enthusiasm and passion. Each and every one of you has been an inspiration to people on five continents.” These words should find their way to the notice-boards of schools and colleges.

Goa’s Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar said: “Winning is not everything, but participation is important and so is getting yourself immersed in the sport.” Amen.

President of the Goa Olympic Association and North Goa MP Shripad Naik dedicated the Games to all those who worked day and night to make the Games a success, and despite a tight schedule made themselves available to meet deadlines. “For the first time we have got 85 medals…Goa will have more and more national and international sporting events in the years to come.” Tathaastu.

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Francisco Martins and his team had put together a colourful float parade which depicted Goa’s culture and heritage. Hema Sardessai, Merlin D’Souza, Lalan Desai and Group, Kalangan from Margao, Elvis Goes and group, the dance duo of Jason and Sylvia along with their dance troupe, provided the singing, music and dance. The elaborate and complex laser beam show and the fireworks showed that this little State could hold its own when it came to glamour. (Not surprised; just the weekend before
the ceremony, designer Wendell Rodricks was awarded the Padmashri, wasn’t

For the National Games…. Let the slogging begin.