Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the Olympic athletes applauded in India, saying they had all endured “years of hard work” and the country should support them without putting pressure on them during next month’s Tokyo Games.
More than 100 Indian athletes have qualified for the mega-event, which was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be held under strict health safety protocols from July 23 to August 8 in the Japanese capital.
“Every player who goes to Tokyo has had his own share of struggle and years of work. They go not only for themselves but also for the country,” Modi said in an address to Manki Baat.
“These players also need to strengthen India’s fame and win people’s hearts, so I want to advise my compatriots not to put pressure on these players, consciously or unconsciously.
“… but support them with an open mind and increase the enthusiasm of each player,” he added.
India’s best Olympic performance came in the 2012 edition of London, when the country grabbed six medals, including two silver.
In the 2016 Games, performance dropped significantly and India could only take two medals.
In a speech Sunday, the prime minister recalled his last conversation with sprint legend Milkha Singh, who died earlier this month after a battle with COVID-19.
“Friends, when we talk about the Tokyo Olympics, how can the legendary athlete Milkha Singh be forgotten. A few days ago, Korona snatched him from us. When he was in hospital, I had the opportunity to talk to him,” he said. .
“While I was talking to him, I invited him. I said that you represented India at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, so this time when our players go to the Tokyo Olympics, you have to raise the morale of our athletes, to them. motivate with your message.
“He was so dedicated and emotional about the sport that he immediately gave his consent even during his illness. But unfortunately Providence had other plans,” he added. While talking about the athletes who go for
This time the Prime Minister chose the life stories of the shooters Deepika Kumari and Pravin Yadhav, the hockey player Neha Goel, the boxer Manish Kaushik, the walker of Priyanka
Goswami, javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, badminton players Chirag Sheti and his partner Satvik Siraj Rankiredi and fencer Bhavani Devi.
“In our country, most athletes come from smaller towns and villages. Our team, which also goes to Tokyo, has a lot of players whose lives are very inspiring,” Modi said.
The prime minister praised Yadhav and Goel for going through difficult circumstances to qualify for their first Olympics.
While Yadhav’s parents worked as workers, Goel’s mother kept her dream going by working in a bicycle factory.
“His parents (Yadhav) run the family, working as workers, and now their son will take part in his first Olympics in Tokyo. It is a matter of great pride not only for his parents, but for all of us.
“Neha is a member of the women’s hockey team that is going to Tokyo. Her mother and sisters manage the family expenses by working in a bicycle factory,” he said.
Goswami of Uttar Pradesh, which will compete in the 20km race, also comes from a modest background. Her father works as a bus conductor.
“As a child, Priyanka adored the bag with which the medal winners were awarded. It was this charm that made her take part in the competition for the first time. Now she is a great champion in this,” said Modi.
Modi also briefly touched on the life of Bhavani, who is the first fencer in the country to qualify for the games.
“I read somewhere that in order to continue Bhavani Ji’s education, her mother even mortgaged her jewelry,” he said.