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PM Modi meets Indian Olympic contingent: A fitting gesture for the 'greatest show on earth'

This should serve as a great motivator for the athletes going to the Olympics.

PM Modi met the Rio-bound Indian contingent today in Delhi (Source: Twitter)

The stories of athletes remind us that going to the Olympics is not just about winning a gold or a silver. It is about pushing yourself, believing in yourself, and refusing to give up. No matter what the obstacles are, you keep pushing.

With 32 days left before the Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Rio-bound sportspersons at Manekshaw Centre in Delhi to boost their confidence. 

The dignitaries who attended the function were Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, Sports Secretary Rajiv Yadav, All India Council of Sports (AICS) Chairman Vijay Malhotra, Indian Olympic Association President N Ramachandran, Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, Hockey India President Narinder Batra, HI Secretary General Mohammed Mushtaq Ahmed among others.

The pace has been quickening, the sense of excitement has been growing and the sense of anticipation about what is going to come is really beginning to hit the nation. With 102 athletes already on the list and more names likely to be added, this will be the biggest Indian Olympic contingent in history to represent at the Summer Games. In London, the number was 83 which was the previous highest.

The whole country is feeling the sense of excitement and once the contingent leaves for Rio, the next few weeks are going to be amazing. Not only us, but our next generation will certainly remember the sportspersons too.

While they will be at the centre of the world's attention, Narendra Modi did not let go of the opportunity to be at the centre of India's attention. The event was a successful one with plenty of motivational quotes from the Prime Minister and a selfie or two surfaced on social media soon afterwards. 

In an age when the ‘the greatest show on earth’ attracts enormous commercial interest and media attention and watched on television by over half of India's population, this has been a good move.

The enthusiasm was lovely because of the fact that he is himself coming to them rather than the athletes meeting him before the Olympics. It means a lot, particularly to the likes of Vinesh Phogat and Manika Batra, who will be going to the Summer Games for the first time. The gesture has been appreciated and lauded by goodwill ambassador Abhinav Bindra:

These athletes would like to be an inspiration for the future and frankly, Modi would like the contingent to break every single record, thus bettering the London tally of 6 medals. With Rio knocking at the door, everybody’s got a really good feel factor. 

Here are a few pictures from the event:

PM Modi with the  women’s archery team
PM with the badminton contingent – PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth

Soon, we’re going to be celebrating the medals, the heroes, the heroines. It will be inspirational. It will be one of those really special moments in our national story.

Narendra Modi Vinesh Phogat
Modi alongside Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat (JSW Sports)
Yogeshwar Dutt Narsingh Yadav Narendra Modi.jpg
PM Modi alongside Indian wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt (L) and Narsingh Yadav
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