Hockey

Imphal welcomes players returning from the Olympic Games

Chanu Pukhrambam Sushila of Team India celebrates their 1-0 win after the Women's Quarterfinal match between Australia and India on day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Oi Hockey Stadium on August 02, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

The Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren, some Ministers, and thousands of citizens, gave a rock star welcome to Nilakanta Sharma and Sushila Pukhrambam, members of the winning Indian hockey team at the Tokyo Olympic Games, on their arrival at the Imphal airport on Wednesday afternoon. Both the Olympians were taken to their home villages. where they were felicitated by the people.

Mr. Biren said, “The government has started constructing an Olympics park in Imphal. There will be life-sized statues of the players who have bagged medals. Busts of those who could not win medals will also be installed in the park.”

Nilakanta Sharma of Team India watches the ball during the Men's Preliminary Pool A match between India and Australia on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Oi Hockey Stadium on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Nilakanta Sharma of Team India watches the ball during the Men's Preliminary Pool A match between India and Australia on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Oi Hockey Stadium on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Replying to questions, the players said they were overjoyed by the love and support showered on them. Mr. Sharma, who was taken to his native village Kontha Ahallup, said that if young players devoted themselves to the games of their choice and practised with determination, they could easily win Olympic medals in the future. He himself had taken training under the caring guidance of senior sportspersons, he added. The circumstances of Mr. Sharma’s parents had made it difficult for them to even buy a hockey stick for him.

Those who could not make it to the airport or the reception venues stood along the roads to shout and throw flowers and garlands at the players.

The government has announced a cash reward of ₹1 crore to each and suitable jobs for all Olympics players of Manipur.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 9:08:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/imphal-welcomes-players-returning-from-the-olympic-games/article35854927.ece

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