The Tokyo Olympics saw the reincarnation of Indian hockey. Both the men’s and women reached the semifinals for the first time in decades. The warriors in blue fought through the toughest of odds to pull off the Herculean task and the nation was delighted to see Indian hockey come back to life on the big stage following a long absence in the marquee event.
As our players fought on, the countrymen left no stone unturned to voice their support for them. While the men’s team managed to bag the bronze medal, the women’s team finished fourth after coming agonisingly close to a medal in only their third Olympic appearance. Following the historic heist, captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal wrote a letter to thank the fans.
“Through this letter, we wanted to share with you some of the emotions we have experienced over these past three weeks and also let you know just how much your support meant to us during our campaign at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. After a memorable tournament and a euphoric welcome, we received upon our arrival in New Delhi on Monday. We have finally reached our respective homes. We must admit that the love and support we have received from across the country and even abroad has been overwhelming, to say the least,” the letter read.
“It has truly been an experience of a lifetime and we will cherish this forever. The historic Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 campaign was the culmination of five years of intense hard work, dedication and a lot of sacrifices. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy at all, we have had our ups and downs, but we never gave up. We were focused and gave our everything on the field in each game to show that we are fearless and can beat any team in the world.“
“We would also like to thank each one of our fans for supporting both teams at every step of the way at the Tokyo Olympics
Having opened up about the emotional rollercoaster the sides went through at the Tokyo Olympics, the skippers went on to thank the authorities for their support. Rani and Manpreet thanked the fans for their unconditional support as they promised to keep up their performance in the upcoming tournaments.
“Our achievement could not have been possible without the constant support and help from the Team Support Staff, Odisha State Government, Hockey India, Sports Authority of India (SAI), and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. We would like to thank each one of them for helping and encouraging us throughout the journey.“
“We would also like to thank each one of our fans, who have supported both teams at every step of the way. We are aware o you waking up early just to watch us play. you backed us all the way. you celebrated when we won, and you cried with us when we lost. This unconditional support we received from you means the world to us and we hope that you will continue to support us in the forthcoming Olympic cycle too.“
The Indian teams have an eventful year ahead following the Olympics. With the tournaments like the Champions Trophy, the FIH Pro League, the World Cup and numerous others coming up, the fans are all set for a cracker of a season ahead. “This marks the beginning of a new era in Indian Hockey, and we hope that our performances and fighting spirit will inspire young players and the next generation. We also promise that we will keep working hard to make you all proud again,” the skippers signed off.