Friday, September 10, 2004

Mohini isn't the only Desi Olympic medalist

I am surprised to not see too much floating around in the blogosphere on 17 year-old British Desi Amir Khan's success in winning a silver medal at the recent Athens Olympics in Boxing. The BBC has published an in-depth piece on Amir, who is of Pakistani descent, and his biographical information. It makes for an interesting read.

Now, Britain's youngest Olympic boxer since Colin Jones in 1976 is firmly in the spotlight. That Khan is his country's only fighter makes the glare even brighter. But if he is feeling the strain, the graduate of Bury Amateur Boxing Club is keeping it well hidden. "I don't feel any added pressure. I'm just going to box like I normally do," he said. "All the media attention I'm getting is brilliant, it's everyone's dream at my age. All my mates are buzzing about it and everyone from school and college is proud of me. "I'm only 17 and it's an experience for me. At the next Olympics I'll be a lot more mature, a lot stronger and I'll also have a lot more pressure on me because I'll be tipped for gold." Refreshingly self-aware, Khan also realises the significance of his Pakistani background and what his appearance in a British vest could do for race relations. "Asians are thin on the ground in British teams and it's a big thing for me to get a medal," he said. "I hope it could push a lot of Asians into sport and show that, with the support of your family, as an Asian you can get anything you want."

And in other Amir Khan news, the BBC has announcedthat the 17 year old silver medalist will be the youngest contestant ever to feature in the BBC sports show Superstars, which is being filmed in Spain this month.


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