It Makes More Sense for IOC to Give 2036 Olympics to India: Anurag Thakur

Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur

New Delhi – In a compelling appeal that resonates with India’s burgeoning stature in the global arena, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has made a strong case for India to be awarded the hosting rights for the 2036 Olympic Games. Speaking at the News9 Global Summit, Thakur outlined a vision for India that is not only ambitious but grounded in recent achievements and strategic planning in the realm of sports and beyond.

India’s journey on the international sports stage, marked by significant performances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, serves as a testament to the country’s growing prowess and potential. “We had the largest population to see the Olympic sports last time in Tokyo, and this time, it makes more sense for the IOC to give the 2036 Olympics to none other than Bharat, our India,” Thakur articulated, highlighting the widespread enthusiasm for Olympic sports among the Indian populace.

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This call for hosting the prestigious global event is backed by several key factors that position India as a formidable contender. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s prior expression of interest during the IOC session in Mumbai last year underscores the country’s earnest ambition. Thakur points to India’s dramatic economic growth, becoming the fifth-largest economy globally, with projections indicating a rise to the third-largest shortly. Coupled with a young and vibrant population, where 65 per cent are below the age of 35, and ongoing enhancements in sports infrastructure, India’s bid for the 2036 Olympics is not only about hosting a sporting event but showcasing a nation that has evolved leaps and bounds in every sphere.

Thakur’s optimism extends to India’s potential on the medal tally as well. He sets a lofty goal for India to be among the top 10 medal-winning countries by 2036 and advance into the top 5 by 2047. The comparison to cricket’s monumental rise in India post the 1983 World Cup victory illustrates Thakur’s belief in the transformative power of hosting major sporting events. Just as cricket saw a sea change in its fortunes, Olympic sports in India stand on the cusp of a similar revolution, driven by professional management, increased funding, and a burgeoning pool of talent.

The government’s dedication to this cause is evident in the tripling of the sports budget over the last decade, the creation of 300 sports infrastructures with an investment of 3,000 crores, and the implementation of numerous schemes aimed at alleviating athletes’ concerns about training and funding. These initiatives have already borne fruit, as evidenced by India’s impressive haul of over 100 medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Furthermore, Thakur emphasizes the collective effort required to bring this vision to fruition, urging state governments to join hands with the central government in enhancing India’s sports infrastructure and ecosystem. The establishment of 23 National Centres of Excellence, 69 SAI centres, and 1,075 Khelo India centres are indicative of the scale at which India is mobilizing resources and expertise towards achieving its sporting aspirations.

In advocating for India’s bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games, Anurag Thakur is not merely focusing on the logistics of organizing a global sporting event. He envisions a future where India not only hosts the Olympics but also leverages it as a platform to showcase its cultural richness, economic vitality, and sporting excellence on the world stage. The proposal is a clarion call to the IOC, highlighting India’s readiness and eagerness to embrace the Olympic spirit and provide a memorable experience for athletes and spectators alike. As the country continues to grow “by leaps and bounds in every sphere,” the logic in awarding the 2036 Olympics to India becomes increasingly compelling.

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