India aspires to host the 2036 Summer Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed on Saturday. The country is enthusiastic about organising the quadrennial global sports extravaganza and is fully committed to making this dream a reality, he said.
If its bid is successful, India will become only the fourth Asian country to host the Games.
“India eagerly anticipates hosting the Olympics and the country will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to organise the 2036 Olympics. It’s a dream and aspiration of 140 crore Indians,” Mr. Modi said, publicly confirming the bid ahead of the 141st session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
However, the PM did not mention which Indian city would bid to host the Games. Underlining the significance of the IOC session taking place in India after 40 years, Mr. Modi also conveyed the country’s willingness to host the 2029 Youth Olympics and expressed confidence in receiving constant support from the IOC.
He also informed the audience about India’s victory against Pakistan in Ahmedabad on Saturday. “I congratulate Team Bharat and every Indian on this historic victory,” he said.
Stating that sports have been an important aspect of Indian culture and lifestyle, Mr. Modi said: “When you go to the villages of India, one can find that any festival remains incomplete without sports. Indians are not just sports lovers, but we also live it.”
“There are no losers in sports, only the winners and learners. The language and spirit of sports are universal. Sports is not mere competition. Sports gives humanity an opportunity to expand,” the PM said. “That is why records are celebrated globally. Sports also strengthen the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: One Earth, One Family, One Future,” he added.
He also listed recent measures for the development of sports in India, mentioning the Khelo India Games, Khelo India Youth Games, Khelo India Winter Games, Member of Parliament sports competitions, and the upcoming Khelo India Para Games. “We are focusing on inclusivity and diversity in sports in India,” he said, adding that India is now performing brilliantly in international events.
Highlighting the sporting culture reflected through the history of India over thousands of years, Mr. Modi said that whether during the Indus Valley civilization, the Vedic period or the era after it, India’s sporting legacy has been very prosperous.
Scriptures written thousands of years ago mentioned proficiency in 64 genres, including sports such as horse riding, swimming, archery, and wrestling, he said, noting that emphasis was laid on excelling in these endeavours. Mr. Modi presented scientific evidence of this ancient sport legacy of India, mentioning the Dholavira UNESCO World Heritage site in Gujarat and the sports infrastructure found in the urban planning of this 5000-year-old city.
During the excavation, the Prime Minister said, two stadiums were found, one of them being the oldest and biggest stadium in the world at that time. Similarly, in Rakhigarhi, sports-related structures have been found. “This sporting legacy of India belongs to the entire world,” he said, adding that positive changes are a sign of the rapidly transforming landscape of sports in India.
“Sports is not just for winning medals but is a medium to win hearts and it belongs to all for all. It not only prepares champions but also promotes peace, progress and wellness. Therefore, sports is another medium of uniting the world,” he said.
Mr. Modi declared the session open in the presence of IOC president Thomas Bach and member Nita Mukesh Ambani.