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PM Modi Inaugurates 141st IOC Session, Highlights India’s Rich Sporting Legacy

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai, an event of great significance for the world of sports. This session serves as a platform for interaction, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among various stakeholders in the realm of sports.

In his address to the gathering, the Prime Minister underscored the importance of this session taking place in India after a span of 40 years. He also took the opportunity to share India’s recent victory in a Cricket World Cup fixture, which unfolded at the world’s largest stadium in Ahmedabad. Prime Minister Modi congratulated “Team Bharat” and all Indians on this historic achievement.

India’s Sporting Heritage and Culture

Prime Minister Modi highlighted the integral role sports play in India’s culture and lifestyle. He mentioned that in the villages of India, no festival remains complete without sports. “Indians are not just games lovers; we also live it,” Modi noted. The Prime Minister emphasized that India’s sporting legacy extends back thousands of years, evident in the nation’s history.

References to ancient scriptures dating back thousands of years showcase India’s proficiency in 64 genres, including sports like horse riding, swimming, archery, wrestling, and more. There was a Code for Archery, known as ‘Dhanur Veda Samhita,’ which emphasized mastering seven essential skills as prerequisites for archery.

Scientific Evidence of India’s Sporting Legacy

Prime Minister Modi presented scientific evidence of India’s sporting legacy, drawing attention to the Dholavira UNESCO World Heritage site, where sports infrastructure was an integral part of the urban planning of this 5000-year-old city. Archaeological excavations revealed two stadiums, with one of them being recognized as the oldest and largest stadium globally at its time. Similar sports-related structures have also been discovered in Rakhigarhi.

The Prime Minister highlighted that India’s sporting legacy is a treasure that belongs to the entire world, emphasizing its universality and significance.

The Universal Language of Sports

Prime Minister Modi conveyed a powerful message about sports, saying, “There are no losers in sports, only winners and learners. The language and spirit of sports are universal.” He emphasized that sports are more than just competition; they provide humanity with an opportunity to unite and expand horizons. This spirit aligns with the idea of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – One Earth, One Family, One Future.

India’s Progress in Sports

The Prime Minister listed recent measures taken by India for the development of sports, including the Khelo India Games, Khelo India Youth Games, Khelo India Winter Games, Member of Parliament sports competitions, & the upcoming Khelo India Para Games. He emphasized the focus on inclusivity and diversity in sports.

He credited the government’s efforts for India’s remarkable performances in the world of sports. India’s athletes have excelled in various international competitions, making the nation proud.

India’s Capability to Host Global Sporting Events

Prime Minister Modi asserted India’s ability to organize global sports tournaments, highlighting the successful hosting of events like the Chess Olympiad, the Football Under-17 Women’s World Cup, the Hockey World Cup, the Women’s World Boxing Championship, the Shooting World Cup, and the ongoing Cricket World Cup. He also mentioned India’s hosting of the world’s largest annual cricket league.

Furthermore, he revealed that the IOC Executive Board has recommended including cricket in the Olympics and expressed confidence that these recommendations will be accepted.

India’s Eagerness to Host the Olympics

The Prime Minister emphasized India’s desire to host the Olympics on its soil. He affirmed, “India is committed to sparing no effort in preparing for the successful hosting of the 2036 Olympics, a dream cherished by 1.4 billion Indians.” He expressed the nation’s eagerness to host the Youth Olympics in 2029 as well.

He conveyed his confidence that the IOC would continue to extend its support to India’s aspirations and reiterated that sports are a medium for uniting the world.

The event was attended by prominent figures, including Mr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, and Mrs. Nita Ambani, a member of the International Olympic Committee, among others. Prime Minister Modi formally opened the session, welcoming delegates and participants from across the world.

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