Why India’s Women Olympians Remind Me of My Father

A Delhi School Principal Was Early to Champion Sports for Girls, a Commitment That's Still Bearing Fruit

It’s been nearly 10 years since my father died, but watching Indian athletes at the Rio Olympics has brought his memory rushing back to me.

When I was a child, the kids in my New Delhi school called my father kallu or “blackie”—he was a very dark skinned Indian man, and he also happened to be the principal of the school. Kids will always find a mean moniker for their school principals, no matter how revered and popular they might be.

But something changed in 1984, when the Olympics were …