78.SRI CHINMOY: Before the Olympics, for months and months you were available. At that time you were so approachable! Why did they not show kindness to you during the Olympics and accept the fact that you had to concentrate on your events? It was so unfair! Those two weeks were so crucial in your life. You were about to bring about a new era in the Olympics. Something unprecedented you were going to offer. If you had gone on talking and talking, then your concentration-power would have been totally destroyed. When it is time for a student to sit for his examination, is that the right time for me to go and bother him? His whole concentration is focused on his studies. Those are crucial days. That was quite unfair on their part. After two weeks they could have seen that you were the same person.
SUDHAHOTA: Most of the press people there were not really knowledgeable about my sport. Most of them came to the Olympic Games and tried to treat it like the World Series or the Superbowl. There were press members who said, “Why couldn’t you talk? In between the World Series games others would talk.” But you really can’t compare athletes like this. Every sport is different. In fact, there are some athletes who don’t talk to the press at all.
So I think I went through a period when everybody wanted an interview, and I was not accommodating. At first they thought I was being mean. Many of them really thought in their mind that I was being mean in not giving them interviews. So many of them tried to build this idea that I was out to make a lot of money and become the biggest thing that ever lived. They said, “We’ll say these kinds of things about him and then he’ll come back and give us interviews.” But the most important thing for me was to do well in the Olympic Games. I went there to win four gold medals and I did win them. Everybody dwells on the amount of money that somebody makes or the amount of appearances somebody makes or the amount of endorsements someone gets. But regardless of what else happened, I went to the Olympic Games to win four gold medals and I won them. It’s really all that matters, so I’m very, very happy.