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India gearing up for ambitious bid for 2036 Olympics in Paris, eyes inclusion of indigenous sports: Report

India's sports administrators are gearing up to lobby intensively during the upcoming Paris Olympics to enhance the country's prospects of hosting the 2036 Games.

India gearing up for ambitious bid for 2036 Olympics in Paris, eyes inclusion of indigenous sports: Report snt
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First Published Jun 21, 2024, 5:13 PM IST

India's sports administrators are gearing up to lobby intensively during the upcoming Paris Olympics to enhance the country's prospects of hosting the 2036 Games. They aim to promote the inclusion of indigenous sports like yoga, kho kho, and kabaddi if their ambitious bid succeeds.

The Sports Authority of India's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) presented a comprehensive report outlining the necessary steps for a successful bid to the new sports minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, on Thursday.

In this report, the MOC has identified six disciplines for potential inclusion in the 2036 Olympics: yoga, kho kho, kabaddi, chess, T20 cricket, and squash.

"We met the new Sports Minister yesterday and handed him the report. The minister said he will need a few days to go through it. But he asked us to prepare another report on how sports can be a career option in the country, how to build interest among youth, how to bring private players into sports," a senior member of the MOC was quoted as saying in a PTI report on conditions of anonymity.

"We are way ahead in preparing for the Olympic bid which will take place after Paris. But we will have to do a lot of lobbying with IOC during the Paris Games and we are completely prepared," the member added.

The inclusion of host country preferences will be discussed at a later stage, as the hosting rights for the 2036 Games have not yet been finalized. A decision is likely only after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) elects a new President next year.

If India's bid is successful, the proposed events will first need to be introduced as demonstration events at the 2032 Brisbane Games before receiving final approval.

During the IOC Congress in Mumbai last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed India's ambition to host the 2036 Games, stating that the administration would "leave no stone unturned" to bring the event to the country for the first time.

An MOC member noted that while the inclusion of these sports could enhance India's medal tally in the 2036 Olympics, the journey will be challenging. The country must provide substantial support to establish these disciplines in a minimum number of participating nations.

"The sports ministry asked the MOC to prepare a detailed report about our readiness for 2036 Olympics, including identifying new sporting disciplines which a host nation can pitch for, how to control doping menace, bringing more accountability in the working of the national federations and identifying private entities who are interested in investing in sports," the member told PTI.

"We researched in detail and identified six sports in which are strong. We are masters in yoga, chess, cricket, and kho kho is our traditional sport. So these sports will enhance our medal chances," the member said.

"We have already submitted our report to the ministry which will take it up with the PMO in due course of time."

According to IOC rules, the host Organising Committee of an Olympics can propose the inclusion of one or more sports popular in the region. However, these events must be played on all five continents. Additionally, the sport's history and the ease of broadcasting it are considered.

An MOC member mentioned that securing the hosting rights for the Games will be challenging, as India will face competition from countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, Poland, Mexico, South Korea, Egypt, Chile, Turkey, and Indonesia.

"But these indigenous sports will have to be introduced as demonstration events in 2032 Olympics. Besides India will have to extend support and ensure that a minimum number of countries, which is around 70 plus, have federations in place there. We will also have to extend coaching support to them and help them in organising international tournaments. So plenty of task is still left," the MOC member told PTI.

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