Sporting Regalia ...
Sporting Regalia _ a meeting with Mike Powell, saw the Sulonian athletes and students of Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania school, interact with the legendary long –jumper, on 1st July 2011. At the 1991 World Championship in Athletics (Tokyo) Michael (“Mike”) Anthony Powell broke Bob Beamon’s 23 year old long jump World record, leaping 8.95m. This world record still stands. He also won silver medals for Long Jump during 1988 and 1992 Olympics. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, he is currently an analyst for Yahoo Sports Olympic Track and Field Coverage.
A fanfare of band tunes announced the arrival of Mike Powell including guests, Dr .Elio Locatelli, Papa Diack of International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), and Mr. Dharmesh Jain, CMD of Nirmal Lifestlye group. While welcoming the guests warmly the School Captain said, “Rightly, our school is the perfect venue for a congregation of this magnitude where sporting stalwart shared his journey in keeping with our Principal’s words, ‘Excellence is a way of life’.”
An imposing presence, a disarming smile and a down – to – earth attitude of the guest, bowled over the audience. The students got to see his amazing record – breaking jump which fuelled them to shoot a volley of questions at him. Recalling the day in 1991 in Tokyo when he shattered the world record to beat Carl Lewis , he described his mindset of considering his rival as his enemy who ought to be defeated, though, they are the best of friends today . He also narrated his experiences during long , arduous training , when he had to sacrifice his social life and favourite delicacies at the altar of practice .
While being introduced to Shashank Jhawar, the school’s best long jumper, Mike Powell, unabashedly, confessed that at the age of 15, he was nowhere near Shashank’s record of 6.65m . To another question posed by a student, he said that he would love to train Indian athletes if he ever got a chance. Moreover, it is very important for an athlete to possess a positive mind set as also consume diet – supplements that would boost performance. His parting shot to the query, that if a genie were to grant him a wish, what would he ask for, was, “I would like to be a child and train for athletics all over again." Later he also saw the athletes at practice and couldn’t stop himself from taking a shot at it which goes to prove that once an athlete, always an athlete.
Vineet Nandkishore thanked Mike Powell for inspiring students with his exemplary and sterling qualities. He extended kudos to Principal whose words and gestures never fail to galvanise the school and the Physical Educational Department for introducing students to world class personalities who will always remain a beacon in young, aspiring lives.