The Rio Olympics are over. The players and officials are back in India. But it seems Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s series of Rio gaffes are far from over. After managing to almost getting his accreditation cancelled at the Games for his rude and aggressive behaviour, after misspelling the name of Dipa Karmakar as “Dipa Karmanakar”, and confusing the athletes Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda in tweet (he sent his best wishes to Nanda, but posted a picture of Chand), he recently confused the actual awards won by our star players at the Olympics, and took it on to himself to award them both gold medals.
During an interaction with the media, Goel spoke about how several athletes – Khel Ratan awardees, Dhyanchand awardees, Dronacharya awardees, Tenzing Norgay awardees – who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. To this list he added that there were two others who were also part of the group – Rio Olympics “gold medallists” PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik.
News agency ANI shared a clipping of the gaffe on its Twitter handle, and there was immediate reaction from the Twitterati. Though, Goel tried to salvage the situation later by saying, “I wanted to say medallist but ended up saying gold medallist and anyway, who knows we might bag a gold medal in the coming years”, the damage was already done.
From asking for his resignation to those he thought he probably should be sent back to Rio, to even dragging poor Kejriwal into the loop, trolls were merciless when it came to tweeting out at the sports minister.