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Rio Olympics 2016: A. R. Rahman named Goodwill Ambassador for India

A.R. Rahman becomes Indias fourth goodwill ambassador after Salman Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, and Abhinav Bindra.

News 12 May 2016, 16:23 IST
A.R. Rahman will join a team will already consists of Salman Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and Abhinav Bindra

Music maestro A. R. Rahman has just been declared as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics 2016.

Rumours of his appointment by the Indian Olympic Association had already started doing the rounds, which gained ground after the veteran music director released the video of his score for ‘Pele: Birth of a Legend’ – the biopic based on the soccer superstar’s life, earlier this week. Having composed for a movie with such a sporting backdrop, Rahman has received extensive appreciation for his work on the film’s latest track ‘Ginga’ as well.

Coincidentally, this year's edition of the Games is taking place in Brazil, which happens to be Pele’s own motherland. With the striking relevance in terms of timing and popularity, Rahman’s nomination to be a representative of the Indian Olympic squad seemed all the more appropriate for the IOA.

Thereby, in comes the news of his coming onboard as Goodwill Ambassador for India at the 2016 Olympics. By accepting IOA’s invitation, Rahman has become the fourth person to join the ranks following Salman Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and Abhinav Bindra. Hailing from the musical arena, he is now the second individual other than actor Salman to be a part of the team without a professional sporting background.

The IOA, initially had faced a lot of backlash following the appointment of Salman Khan to this designation, with the likes of former sprinter Milkha Singh and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt expressing their disappointment at a Bollywood personality’s selection over the multitude of sportspersons who have fetched accolades for India at the world stage. The debate had had the whole population divided on the matter, with masses backing the IOA’s decision because of Salman’s immense popularity across the country.

“Its absolutely an honour and my pleasure to be a goodwill ambassador of the Indian Olympic contingent,” Mr Rahman said in his reply on Thursday to the request sent to him by the Indian Olympic Association President Mr. N. Ramachandran and Secretary General Mr. Rajeev Shukla.

In an email message sent on his behalf by a member of his team Mr. Karan Grover, said, “I am super keen to support efforts that can help boost the morale of all athletes and contestants and make our country proud by bringing home lots of medals.”

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