Despite Deepika’s Padukone’s presence, Olympic medallists Mary Kom and Vijay hog limelight

If winning six Olympic medals was any indication of India’s march towards being a sporting nation, yesterday’s Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ)-organised felicitation programme for two medal winners — Vijay Kumar and MC Mary Kom — and the best young talent of the country, boxer L Devendro Singh at the Bombay Gymkhana was testimony to that, says a report in Mid-Day, adding that even with the glamour quotient being so high with the presence of Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, the media and crowd of club members surprisingly chose to capture a glimpse of the medallists Kumar (silver medallist in the 25m rapid fire pistol) and Mary Kom (bronze in women’s 51kg boxing category).

This is quite an unnatural sight, given there were no cricketers present. Even legendary cueist Geet Sethi admitted in as many words that it was quite a change of attitude from the fans and media, in particular. “I was just telling Deepika that fans are more interested in the medal winners rather than her,” Sethi said.

Meanwhile a report in The Times Of India says that ever since the Indian Olympic contingent returned home, there have been a series of felicitations to honour the six medal winners. “And Thursday, it was Mumbai's turn to honour them. And Thursday was one of those rare evenings where the real stars stole the show and not the reel ones, despite the presence of Bollywood star Deepika Padukone,” says the report adding that as the Olympics Gold Quest (OGQ) felicitated the freshly returned London Games medallists, the spotlight was primarily on MC Mary Kom, Vijay Kumar, Laishram Devendro Singh. Among others present were OGQ co-founders and directors Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone along with Neeraj Bajaj.

Facing a frenzied circle of shutterbugs, media and desperate fans — mostly children who were hoping to get an autograph or two, a generally composed MC Mary Kom found herself stuttering with her lines, expressing gratitude and promising better performances.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the support and love," said a visibly moved Mary Kom. "This has been a great journey, one that will be my most memorable."