'Please Do Not Politicize My Medal': Pranati Nayak Appeals After Gymnastic Medal Sparks BJP vs TMC War On Social Media

The BJP's social media campaign pointed out that Pranati Nayak had trained in Odisha due to an alleged lack of support from the TMC-led West Bengal government. The online debate quickly escalated, with supporters of both parties engaging in heated exchanges. However, the Indian gymnast emotionally appealed to everyone and called for politics to be left aside.
'Please Do Not Politicize My Medal, I Won It For India': Pranati Nayak Appeals

Pranati Nayak made her appeal after winning the bronze in Gymnastic. (Instagram/Pranati Nayak)

Pranati Nayak cemented her place among the elite Indian gymnasts with a bronze medal in the recently held FIG Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus World Cup 2024 in Cairo, Egypt. The competition not only marked a significant milestone in Nayak's career but also served as a crucial stepping stone on her path to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
While her achievement should have been a moment of national celebration, unfortunately, it was embroiled in a political firestorm, sparking a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on social media.
The controversy stems from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's congratulatory message to Nayak. While her well-wishes were appreciated by many, the BJP pointed out that Nayak had previously trained in Odisha due to an alleged lack of support from the TMC-led West Bengal government. The online debate quickly escalated, with supporters of both parties engaging in heated exchanges.
However, the athlete has come out and requested everyone to cut out the political angle and instead help her focus on her next assignment. "My medal is for India and not a state. I do not want any politics over my feat and I request everyone - please do not politicze my medal," Nayak said in a conversation with Sports Now.
"It is important to support the player. I don't think we need to get into politics because the country comes first. I am happy that the Odisha government helped me and am hoping for better news in future," she added.
Nayak's journey to the podium began after she left her home state of West Bengal and and started training at the Odisha AM/NS India Gymnastics High-Performance Centre. Under the tutelage of a foreign coach, Amani (from Egypt), she excelled in her performance. Unlike some multi-disciplinary training centres, the OGHPC is dedicated solely to gymnastics. Explaining how the move helped her, Nayal said, "Facilities in West Bengal are good, but in Odisha, I received an overall development. For an athlete, simply practice is not enough. Here, my diet and recovery were also focused upon in great detail. I also have two physios who assist me in my recovery, which has helped my performance. All of this is needed for an elite athlete. SAI West Bengal is good, but OGHPC was even better."
Amidst the political noise, it's crucial to remember the significance of Nayak's achievement. Nayak will set her sights on the remaining legs of the World Cup series, which will be held in Cottbus, Germany (February 22 to 25), Baku, Azerbaijan (March 7 to 10) and Doha, Qatar (April 17 to 20).
On her performance, Nayak expressed satisfaction and said, "My landing has improved, and I managed to get my highest score on the landing. The exhibition was satisfactory, but I need to make it even better. Next time, I want to improve my landing and increase my points even further." At the World Cup in Cairo, Pranati Nayak qualified for the vault final with an aggregate score of 13.166 and in the medal round on Saturday, she improved her score to 13.620 and finished third.
With her dedication, talent, and newfound confidence, she is poised to continue exceeding expectations and potentially secure her place on the Olympic stage. Nayak's bronze medal in Cairo is not just a personal victory but a testament to the rising talent and potential of Indian gymnastics. If Nayak manages to qualify for Paris 2024, she will become the first Indian gymnast to make the cut for back-to-back Olympic Games.
End of Article
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