PM Modes salutes the struggles of Indian athletes at the Olympic Games; I wish you luck

Stories of struggle, sacrifice and courage dominated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with Indian sportsmen linked to the Olympics in which he urged them to put aside expectations and focus only on the best of themselves in Tokyo.

Among others, the Prime Minister spoke with iconic boxer MC Mary Kom, badminton ace PV Sindhu, talented shooters Saurabh Chaudhary, Elavenil Valarivan and veteran table tennis player A Sharath Kamal during a session interactive virtual.

Well aware of their preparations and years of training, Modi’s conversations revolved around realizing their successes and also fun questions like the one posed to world champion PV Sindhu.

“There was a ban on eating ice cream during the 2016 Olympics, has another ban been imposed for Tokyo,” he asked a smiling Sindhu, who is said to be aimed at improving the money that ‘she won five years ago.

“Sir, I have to be careful with my diet,” she replied.

Modi called the athletes a reflection of the new India and said they looked bold and confident heading into the Games.

He said all possible help was provided to them through the government’s Target Olympic Podium Program (TOPS).

“Don’t get bogged down by expectations, just do your best,” Modi said during the interaction.

“I would have been happier to meet you in person, I still look forward to this. But I promise to spend time with you after you return,” he said.

“I am happy that this country encourages you. I wish you good luck. The emotions of all the country are attached to you.

“I find some common ground among all of you, you are bold, confident and positive. It is a common factor with discipline, dedication and determination.

As the athletes give their all for India, Modi said the country should support them at all costs.

Modi started the session by asking the athletes about their ambitions and challenges ahead of sporting extravagance.

He asked Olympic bronze medalist and six-time MC world champion Mary Kom about her favorite athlete and shot, and his answer was Muhammad Ali and the hook.

Then he went to the Rio Olympics silver medalist and reigning world champion Sindhu and her parents and congratulated them on the sacrifices they made during the trip.

To begin with, Modi spoke to archers Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav and asked them not to feel the pressure of expectations at home.

Modi told Deepika the nation is talking about her after her World Cup gold in Paris.

“You are number 1 in the world now. Your trip is very special,” he said.

“My journey has been good from the start, I started with the bamboo archery and then gradually moved on to the modern archery,” said Deepika.

“There are expectations, but we expect the most from ourselves. So, I focus on my practice and how I’m going to perform.

Offering her personal touch, Modi also spoke to Sindhu’s parents and praised them for supporting their daughter on her journey to success.

The Olympics, during which on-site spectators will not be allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to be held in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 8.

The new trade union minister for sports Anurag Thakur and his deputy Nisith Pramanik, law minister Kiren Rijiju, succeeded by Thakur, were also present during the interactive session.

The Prime Minister said that the Indian people encourage their athletes to do well at the Olympics.

Modi also praised the role played by the Khelo India government initiative.

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