We need to change our thinking about sports: Aamir Khan

Mumbai: Superstar Aamir Khan has heaped praise on Indian athletes for their performance at the Rio Olympics and said the country needs to change its outlook towards sports if it wants more wins at the global platform.

While athletes like P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik have received accolades for their medal-winning feats at Rio, the dismal show by other Indian participants has invited a lot of criticism from fans.

Aamir, who is set to bring the life of Haryanvi wrestler Mahavir Phogat on the big screen with “Dangal”, however, feels Indian athletes gave their best and the people need to start taking sports seriously.

“I don’t blame the athletes at all. They are giving their all. If we want to see Olympic medals and world-class athletes then we have to change the way each one of us thinks about sports. In schools, sports is not a part of the curriculum. My parents never asked how I did in PT. They asked me how I did in my subjects.

“So, as a child you are telling me that this (sports) is not important. All that I learnt in school, history geography algebra nothing has come of use in my life. But what I learnt in sports has been useful,” the 51-year-old actor said at a discussion panel of ‘The Indian Futurescape’.

Aamir further said that as a child, he was inclined towards sports more than academics and it plays a huge role in his successful film career.

“Sports teaches you hard work, team spirit builds your concentration, you learn how to take a defeat. Whatever I am today, sports has had a huge contribution.

“My focus, the way I have applied that… The passion I bring to my work all that has come from sports. So, I think as a nation we have to think differently about sports.”

The actor, however, added the reason behind doing “Dangal” was not to promote sports but it was the film’s script which got him on board.

“I loved the script. When Nitesh (Tiwari, the film’s director) narrated me I laughed, I cried. I just loved it. That’s the only reason I do films.

“I don’t do films because I want to promote a particular social issue or want to help sports. No, because I have a responsibility towards my audience and that comes first for me.