On Tuesday, PM Narendra Modi had a live video conference with Indian athletes going Tokyo Olympics. With the Tokyo Olympics starting in just 10 days, all athletes are scheduled to depart for Japan in the next few days.
The conference was held to talk with the players to give them best wishes and encouragement before their departure. “As you are on the road to Tokyo, PM has come to motivate you. I have only one message – when you go to Tokyo, all you have to think is you have to win medals for the country,” said PM Modi as he began the conference.
The IOA also thanked the government for all the support provided to the athletes in their journey to the Tokyo Olympics. The new minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Anurag Thakur also praised the Prime Minister of his efforts and campaigns for the Indian contingent.
Deepika Kumari, Neeraj Chopra have a chat with PM Narendra Modi
Modi began his conference with the world no. 1 archer Deepika Kumari, who is one of India’s biggest medal hopefuls. Kumari talked about her journey to the Tokyo Olympics, and how she started off with aiming at mangoes to practice.
“I have been lucky to have good coaches. We expect the most from ourselves and I am focussing on that.” she said talking about her performance at the Olympics.
PM Modi then spoke to archer Pravin Jadhav, who hails from a small town in Maharashtra. Despite coming from a poor financial background, Jadhav worked hard to reach where he is today. PM Modi thanked Jadhav and praised his hard work as well as his parents, as he wished him luck for the Tokyo Olympics.
Neeraj Chopra is India’s biggest medal hope in athletics. The Prime Minster asked Chopra about the recent injury which he faced, as well as about his preparation for the Olympics. Chopra lost a year due to injury, but is now back on track and focussing on a strong performance at the Olympics.
Boxer Ashish Kumar also spoke about his journey. “My home had a sports environment and my father wanted me to do boxing. My brother was a boxer. I had option for wrestling too. I was thin so I chose boxing.” Kumar contracted coronavirus during his training in Spain. It took him long to recover but he has finally regained his strength as the coaching staff helped him a lot.
“You are a winner in sport and as a person too. The country expects a lot of you and we are sure you will do well in the Olympics. We wish you the best.” said Modi, wishing Kumar before he departed for the Olympics
Dutee Chand, Mary Kom talk about their experiences
Dutee Chand talked about her hard journey to make it to the grand stage. Dutee and her mother faced faced a lot of criticism and challenges, but this did not deter her from achieving her dreams. “I am going to the Olympics for the second time and I wouldn’t be scared. Indians are not weak. I will work hard and try to win a medal.”
Mary Kom talked about her children, and how they have changed the way she trained for the Tokyo Olympics. Mary Kom said that her children miss her and due to covid cannot meet her at the moment, but she told them to remain strong as she fights for the nation. She cited Mohammad Ali as her idol, and Southpaw as her favourite platform.
Elavenil Valarivan talked to the Prime Minister about how she got into the sport. “I tried a lot of sports but I chose shooting because it was exciting and you have to control your emotions and be calm and I had that.” She began shooting in 10th std. and was later sanctioned by the Gujarat Sports Ministry. Valarivan will be heading into her maiden Olympics with the hopes of bringing back a medal for India.
Vinesh Phogat, PV Sindhu, others Share their journey
PV Sindhu came home with a silver medal from the Rio Olympics, and will be heading back in the hopes of bettering her record. Sindhu is currently practicing at Gachibowli stadium after she got permission from the government. She is going to the Olympics with a goal in mind, and she is training hard to achieve it.
“I am sure you will do great this time in the Olympics too and then I will have ice cream with you.” said PM Narendra Modi jokingly, wishing her luck for the Tokyo Olympics.
PM Modi talked to Vinesh Phogat about her injury at the Rio Olympics. Phogat will be going to the Olympics seeded in the top 4. “There is pressure and expectation but I feel that is important and we push more due to expectation. There is no pressure, I will do well and hope to win a medal.” As a top level athlete she had to remain mentally strong and her family, the government and the SAI played an important role in helping her make a comeback.
Indian hockey team’s captain Manpreet Singh spoke about the dynamics of the team, as they hope to get a medal ending India’s 41 year hockey medal drought at the Olympics. Prime Minister Modi also spoke to several other athletes including Sajan Prakash, Manika Batra, Sania Mirza, Sharath Kamal and Saurabh Choudhary.
He finally wished the Indian contingent luck and that the whole country will be supporting them at the Tokyo Olympics. Watch the whole live here: