Tokyo Olympics: After Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, PM Narendra Modi urges nation to support Indian athletes
The Indian contingent would be travelling to Tokyo for the upcoming Olympic Games. Ahead of what is expected to be India's best-ever outing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged his citizens to support the athletes with all their heart.
As the date draws near the Tokyo Olympics, the Indian athletes leave no stones unturned to prepare for the same to the fullest. The entire contingent is likely to be more than 120 athletes strong.
Ahead of the same, Union Sports minister Kiren Rijiju had urged the nation to support the Indian athletes in the same manner as the Indian cricketers. A day later, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined Rijiu, asking the citizens to voice their support for the Indian athletes with their hearts, besides reflecting on their struggles and hard work.
"Every player going to Tokyo has had one's own share of struggle and years of toil. They are going not only for themselves but for the country. These players also have to enhance the glory of India and win the hearts of the people, and that is why my countrymen I want to advise you too, that we should not pressurise these players knowingly or unknowingly....but support them with an open mind and bolster the enthusiasm of every player," he said during the Mann Ki Baat program.
"In our country, most of the sportspersons hail from the smaller towns and villages. Our team that is going to Tokyo too has many such players whose life inspires a lot, he added, as he emphasised on life stories of some of the top and successful Indian athletes, like archers Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav, hockey player Neha Goel, race walker Priyanka Goswami, badminton players Chirag Shetty and his partner Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy, and fencer CA Bhavani Devi.
Modi also talked about the recent demise of legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh. He spoke of his contributions to Indian athletics, besides hailing him for inspiring numerous next-generation Indian athletes.
"Friends, when we are talking of Tokyo Olympics, how can one forget the legendry athlete Milkha Singh. Some days ago, Corona snatched him away from us. When he was in the hospital, I got an opportunity to talk to him," he reckoned.
"While talking to him, I had urged him. I had said that you had represented India in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics time when our players are going to Olympics in Tokyo, you have to boost the morale of our and have to motivate them with your message. He was so committed and emotional for sports that he immediately gave his consent even during his illness. But, unfortunately, providence had other plans," he concluded.
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