It was the turn of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to felicitate the medal winners and other members of the Indian Olympic contingent on Sunday.
Neeraj Chopra, the lone gold medallist, walked away with a reward of Rs. 75 lakh, silver medallists Mirabai Chanu and Ravi Dahiya received Rs. 40 lakh each while bronze medallists P. V. Sindhu, Lovlina Borgohain and Bajrang Punia were richer by Rs. 25 lakh each. Each member of the bronze-medal men’s hockey team received Rs. 10 lakh each while each member of the Olympic contingent was given Rs. 1 lakh.
In another first, each sports federation was richer by, at least, Rs. 30 lakh. Neeraj was present in spite of suffering from fever. Understandably, he received the loudest cheers. Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Anurag Thakur urged the corporate sector to go beyond their contribution through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and to adopt one sport to prepare athletes for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.
The Minister also announced the expansion of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) ahead of the next Olympics to accommodate more athletes. The IOA President Narinder Batra hailed the medal winners and the efforts of the National Sports Federations for their work in India’s best Olympic performance.
Besides the athletes, their coaches too were presented cash rewards. Neeraj Chopra’s coach was due to receive Rs 12.50 lakh. Ravi Dahiya and Mirabai Chanu’s coaches gained Rs 10 lakh each. For the coaches of Sindhu, Bajrang and Lovelina, the reward was worth Rs. 7.50 lakh each.