We dared to dream: India men's hockey coach on Tokyo Olympics bronze
- Coach Graham Reid was a part of Australia silver-winning team in the 1992 Summer Games
- It is a fantastic feeling, it has come after a lot of sacrifices, he said
- It takes a long time to get where these athletes have gotten, Reid added
The Indian men's hockey team clinched its first Olympic medal in 41 years after beating Germany 5-4 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, on Thursday. Talking about the win, the Indian men's hockey coach Graham Reid said that the victory was possible because of a strong mentality.
"We dared to dream. The team first mentality and not feeling sorry about yourself worked. The players did a great job of doing this together especially in leaving the semifinal loss behind and focus on the bronze medal match," Reid said.
The 57-year-old, who was a part of Australia's silver-winning team in the 1992 Barcelona Games, took over as India coach in 2019 and has obsessively talked about pursuing a process and investing in youth to get the results at a big stage like the Olympics.
"It is a fantastic feeling, it has come after a lot of sacrifices that the whole group has made," Reid said referring to the time the players spent away from their families and in some cases, battling COVID-19 as well.
"It takes a long time to get where these athletes have gotten. All the sacrifices that go unseen," he added.
"...I know that apart from the country, this group has been waiting for a medal for a fairly long time and I know how much hockey means to India and I am privileged to help play a part in that," he further added.
"It means a lot after being in quarantine for the last eight out of 16 months," he said.
India were 1-3 down in the match and Reid said one of the things that has been worked on during his stint was to never lose hope of a comeback.
"Before the game I asked the guys to make sure they bring the next level if something happens, for example, if you are down, you need to bring the next level of play and they did that very well," Reid explained.
"(It is) never over until it is over. It's always easy to say you should be doing this or that but there are lots of things that go on," he said.
"It has been one of the signatures of this team, which we have tried to develop and make sure that we can always come back and I think we did that."
The coach said it is just the beginning and this team has many more milestones to achieve in the future.
"The ability to execute under pressure makes a best team. We haven't seen the best of this team yet, you guys need to achieve further."