Photograph: Kind courtesy Khelo India Games/Twitter
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the nation to come forward and support all the athletes who would be heading to the Tokyo Olympics to make the country proud.
“Every athlete who will be going to Tokyo Olympics has had to struggle, they have worked hard for a long time. They are just not going to the Games for themselves, but they are heading to Tokyo to make the country proud. They have to win over people’s hearts and they need to make everyone in the nation feel proud. I want to urge the citizens of our country to not increase pressure on our athletes, rather you need to motivate them,” said PM Modi during his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat.
Tokyo Olympics were slated to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now it will be held from July 23-August 8 this year.
“You can send good wishes to our athletes by posting messages on social media using the hashtag #Cheer4India. If you want to do something more innovative, then you can do that also. If you get an idea of how we can motivate our athletes together as a country, then you send that to me as well. We will together support our Olympic-bound contingent,” he added.
Earlier this month, PM Modi had also taken a review meeting to take stock of how the preparations of India’s athletes are going and he said that the athletes need to be provided with everything they need in order to be in the best shape possible.
Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, had reiterated that India’s Olympic-bound athletes are national heroes and he also urged the people to extend support to these players in the same way they follow cricketers in the country.
Rijiju was speaking at a virtual interaction organised by the CII-Sportscom Industry Confederation in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to create awareness regarding India’s preparation for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Announcing a Cheer Up Campaign across the country, the Union Sports Minister said over 6,000 selfie points will be set up where people can show their support.
“I have spoken to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and he immediately deployed space across 6,000 railway stations across the country where Olympics Selfie Points have been set up. The Chief Minister of Haryana has also clicked a selfie photograph with the symbol to encourage others to join the campaign and encourage the Tokyo-bound players.”
“I wanted the Olympics movement and the importance of Olympics to be understood by everyone, spread across the length and breadth of India. Sports is the biggest soft power of a nation,” he added.