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Missing an Olympic medal by a hair’s breadth

At the Olympic level, winning a medal, especially the gold, boils down to having “the edge”. In the dark ages, the edge came from something as basic as  possessing a pair of professional running shoes with spikes –  Milkha Singh and legions of Asian & African athletes  trained barefoot and barely managed to get a pair of spikes in time for major events like the Olympics. For most part of the 20th century the edge merely came from being born in countries with great infrastructure and possessing trained coaches – who created the edge through better training techniques, nutrition and recovery.
At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the Australian swim team shaved off every bit of hair on their bodies just before the races – this turned out to be a smooth move as they completely swept all the medals at those championships. Since then all competitive swimmers shave their bodies and also heads just before the race event. So now this trick is no longer giving the edge, but just represents the bare minimum to be taken seriously at the top level.
But in the 21st century, the playing field is remarkably level, in terms of access to good infrastructure and coaches – so the quest to find the edge is getting tougher and tougher. And athletes and their coaches are getting more creative. At Rio this year, Michael Phelps and the other swimmers were seen with purple/reddish circles on their backs – the result of an ancient Chinese cupping technique to increase blood circulation in certain areas during recovery– this is the extent to which the search for the edge has reached.
What about the basics?
The top sprinters who compete in the explosive short distance events like 100M, 200M and the 400M pay attention to a number of small details to increase their chances of success. Aerodynamics is a critical success factor. For example the current state of the art is to wear form –fitting trunks that ensure the least drag during the race – even as recently as the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Carl Lewis was wearing regular running shorts that flapped a bit. Did it slow him down by a hundredth of a second?
Another detail in the sprinters preparation is wearing their hair really really short, army style. This is a uniform choice among the male sprinters but a number of the top women sprinters choose to have very long hair and still win the medals. Some of the Jamaican women sprinters are so ridiculously talented that the length of their hair is a superfluous detail. And sadly for some others, their extraordinary level of doping is an overriding factor.
1984: A Hair story
At the 1984 LA Olympics, a 20 year old PT Usha was a strong medal hope for India in the 400M hurdles event. She had gained prior experience at this elite level at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was the top Asian sprinter in her class and in the heats she had even defeated Judi Brown, who was the favorite to win the event.
And yet, sadly for her & all Indians, in the finals she lost out on the bronze medal by 1/100 of a second. To this date this remains the closest that India has come to winning a medal in the track events.
Did PT Usha miss out on very basic detail of appropriate hair style ? Look at the pictures below from that race at LA in 1984.
Krya blog post aug 13th 2016 consolidated picNow with wisdom of hindsight and the anguish of a true fan, I have to ask this, why did    P.T Usha have to run with a full head of hair? Did it not occur to her that carrying some 50 – 100 gm of extra weight over a 400M distance could be significant for her medal chances? In the final analysis, she lost the bronze medal by 1/100 of a second. We still haven’t produced a track athlete of her caliber, male or female, who can get on to the medal podium at the Olympics.
The Olympics at a cross-roads
Olympics before the 1988 Ben Johnson scandal was an innocent time, when the entire focus was on form and preparation of the athletes and the eager anticipation of the new techniques that might emerge at the events, like Dick Fosbury’s breath taking new “flop” .
However since Ben Johnson and then Kristin Otto, a whole avalanche of doping scandals both at the Olympics and outside, has covered the sports in doubt and despair. Even the truest fans are left in serious doubt about the sanctity of the medal winning efforts given the all round, rampant doping convictions. So it is a great relief for the fans when true blue heroes like Michael Phelps come out of retirement and set the games on fire and hopefully Usain Bolt can help us finish the events on a legitimate sporting high.
The ” scandal” in the consumer products industry
At Krya , a lot of the work that we do now is a direct reaction to the malaise in the consumer products industry which bears much similarity to the doping scandals in the sports world. All manner of chemical -laden products are suddenly making tall claims to being “safe” and “natural” by the addition of miniscule amounts of herb extracts.
Worse still, the advertising around these products has gone from taking creative leaps to out right false claims by exploiting loop holes in regulations. A significant portion of the marketing work at Krya is educating consumers on making better and safer choices.
The Krya August Hair Olympics Challenge
The effects of synthetic products on human health, the environment, and our water continues to boggle the mind and brings a state of near panic among companies like ours. Many of the chronic skin and hair conditions we see at Krya, for example, can be directly attributed to the irritating and harmful effects of the synthetic products we use everyday on ourselves and on our families.
However, what gives us hope is this. We have seen remarkable transformative results when the toxins in the form of synthetic products are removed, the diet is cleaned up and health giving natural products are used instead on the body.
This experience inspired the many Krya hair and skin formulations that you see today, because we wanted to give many more people the same transformative benefits we had experienced for ourselves.
To inspire more and more people to make the switch, we are celebrating this August as the Krya Hair Olympics Month.
Do you want stronger, healthier better hair? Throw away your toxin filled synthetic shampoo, conditioner and hair oil and try Krya’s goodness filled haircare products instead. Your hair will thank you for this switch.
Every Krya hair care product for adults carries a special discount only in August 2016

  • 10% off if you buy a single piece of any Krya hair care product for adults
  • 20% off if you buy 2 or more pieces of any Krya hair care product for adults or a Krya hair care system for adults

Explore Krya’s huge range of good-for-you hair care products here.

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srinivas krishnaswamy
srinivas krishnaswamy

Srinivas is Krya's Co-Founder. He brings in a unique perspective to Krya with his dual Masters in Physics & Management.

At Krya, Srinivas is motivated by the challenges of crafting the company's DNA - products that delight consumers, manufacturing excellence, a winning team and sustainable profitable growth.

He is deeply committed to defining the first principles of Dharmic Entrepreneurship in order to build a world class organisation rooted in Indian Knowledge Systems.

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