Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Indian athletes’ contingent taking part in the Tokyo Olympics through video conference. It was an endeavour to motivate the athletes ahead of their participation at the games. Modi motivated the athletes and thanked their families for their sacrifice. Talking to Deepika Kumari (Archery), he congratulated her for the gold in the World Championship. The Prime Minister mentioned that her journey began with plucking mangoes through archery and enquired about her journey as a sportsperson. He lauded Pravin Jadhav (Archery) for staying on the path despite difficult circumstances. He also interacted with his family and praised their efforts.
Talking to Neeraj Chopra (Javelin Throw), the Prime Minister inquired about the athlete’s experience with the Indian Army and also his recovery from injury. He asked the athlete to give his best without getting bogged down by the weight of expectation. With Dutee Chand (Sprint), he started with the meaning of her name that is ‘brightness’ and complimented her for spreading the light through her sporting skills. He asked her to forge ahead fearlessly as the entire India is behind the athletes. He asked Ashish Kumar (Boxing) how he fought with both COVID-19 and kept with his training.
The Prime Minister lauded Mary Kom (Boxing) for being a role model for many athletes and wished her the best. With PV Sindhu (Badminton), the Prime Minister enquired about her practice and about the importance of diet in her training. The Prime Minister asked her parents for advice and tips they want to give to parents who want to make their children a sportsperson.
Modi asked Elavenil Valarivan (Shooting) why she got interested in the sport. On a personal note, he talked to the shooter who was raised in Ahmedabad, in Gujarati and greeted her parents in Tamil and recalled her early years as he was MLA from her area Mani Nagar.
He talked to Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting) of the role of yoga in improving concentration and mental poise. The Prime Minister asked the veteran player Sharath Kamal (Table Tennis) about the difference between previous and this Olympics and learnt about the impact of pandemic on the occasion. With another Table tennis ace Manika Batra (Table Tennis), he was full of praise for her for training the poor children in sport.
The Prime Minister asked how Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling) copes up with the heightened expectations due to her family legacy. He enquired from Sajan Prakash (Swimming) about his grave injury and how he overcame it. Talking to Manpreet Singh (Hockey) he said that interacting with him reminds him of hockey legends like Major Dhyan Chand, etc. and expressed the hope that his team will keep the legacy alive.
With Saina Mirza (Tennis), he remarked about the increasing popularity of Tennis sport and asked the senior player for her advice to the new aspirants. He asked about the change she witnessed in sports during the last 5-6 years. Sania Mirza said that India is witnessing a self-belief in recent years and that will reflect in the performance.
While addressing the Indian athletes, the Prime Minister regretted the fact that he could not host the athletes due to the pandemic. He remarked that the pandemic has changed their practice and even the year of the Olympics. He said that the whole country is behind them and the blessings of all the countrymen are with them. “These wishes of 135 crore Indians are the blessings of the country for all of you before entering the field of sports,” said the Prime Minister.