'Ordinary Indians smile even amidst adversity'

'Ordinary Indians smile even amidst adversity'

Racing Ahead

Linford Christie set the track ablaze every time he ran a sprint race. He is the only Briton to have won Gold in the 100-metre category at the Olympics.

Spirited: Linford Christie. DH photo by Satish Badigar

He was quite a craze among women and young athletes who looked up to him and continue to do so.

After he tested positive for dope, a ban was slapped on him and he had to hang his shoes unceremoniously. But Christie professes his innocence to this day.

“I didn’t do anything. If people want to believe that I’ve taken drugs, they can. My conscience is clear and I have forgiven all those who gave me a tough time. Life is too short for any regrets or even to dwell in the past,” he said.

Now 52, Christie looks fitter and sounds more positive than ever before. He handles all the uncomfortable questions about his past with a smile even as people around click pictures with him and try to exchange a few words. 

The soft-spoken man has always been passionate about two things — his sport and gardening. Get him to talk about the two and he can go on for hours together.

Christie confesses that he loves gardening, something he picked up years ago, “I love being in my garden. It’s a kind of getaway. I could stay in there for hours and still want to be left in my garden,” he says.

Christie now trains young athletes. “This year’s Olympics is riding faster than ever before. There are a lot of promising young people. I train young people and I believe that I must lead by example.

So even today, I lead the life of a sportsman. I exercise and run but now I don’t run as fast as I used to but try and cover a decent distance,” he laughs.

About the IPL and the slew of controversies surrounding it, Christie wonders why people make such a hue and cry about that. “There are controversies everywhere. Anything popular will be accompanied by controversy,” he avers.

Christie loves food and says that he eats everything in moderation. “I keep away from red meat and have as much of chicken, fruits and vegetables — all in the right doses,” he informs.

About people in India, he says, “I’ve noticed that the ordinary people here smile even amidst adversities. I relate well to the people here beca­u­se they’re a lot like my people  back home.”

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