New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Indian athletes’ contingent bound for Tokyo Olympics through video conference last evening. Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present on the occasion. 

Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister said, 135 crore Indians are supporting the players participating in the Tokyo Olympics. He said, people from across the nation are cheering their favourite players through the Namo App. Mr Modi said, the things that are common in all the athletes going to the mega sporting event are their boldness, confidence, positivity, discipline, dedication and competitiveness. He said, this is also the reflection of New India.

The Prime Minister said, efforts were made to provide better training camps, good quality equipment and international exposure to the players. Mr Modi said that so many changes have happened in such a short time since sports related institutions have given priority to suggestions by the sportspersons. 

He also expressed happiness that for the first time, such a large number of players have qualified for the Olympics. He said that campaigns like ‘Fit India’ and ‘Khelo India’ contributed to this. He said for the first time, players from India are participating in so many sports. Mr Modi said, a committee was formed for Olympics a few years back.

In the informal and spontaneous interaction, the Prime Minister motivated the athletes and thanked their families for their sacrifice. Talking to archer Deepika Kumari, Mr Modi termed her journey as special. He said, nation is talking about her after her feat in Paris and she is world number one now. Boxer Mary Kom shared how her children supports her in pursuing boxing. 

Badminton player P. V. Sindhu shared how a diet plays a crucial role in the life of an athlete and how she has to control her craving for ice-cream. Sprinter Dutee Chand shared that she always wanted to win medals for her country, so despite challenges, she overcame all to fulfil her dreams.

The Prime Minister spoke to shooter Saurabh Chaudhary of the role of yoga in improving concentration and mental poise. He asked how wrestler Vinesh Phogat copes up with the heightened expectations due to her family legacy. With tennis player Sania Mirza, the Prime Minister remarked about the increasing popularity of Tennis and asked the senior player for her advice to the new aspirants. 

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur thanked the officials including coaching staff and support staff for their hard work with the athletes. 

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