Mumbai, Oct 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday confirmed India's interest in hosting the Olympic Games in the year 2036, claiming that 140 crore Indians are committed to staging the Games.
"We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to organise the Olympics on Indian soil in the year 2036. This is the age-old dream and aspiration of 140 crore Indians. This dream has to be built with your cooperation and support," Modi said during his address at the inaugural ceremony of the 141st IOC Session at the Jio World Centre here.
India is hosting the IOC Session for the first time since New Delhi organised it in 1983.
This is the first time a senior constitutional authority has declared the government's support for a proposal articulated by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Gujarat government in hosting the Games in Ahmedabad.
Modi talked about India's legacy in ancient sports like archery and also informed the gathering about the country's capacity and ability to host major sports events citing the example of the country hosting the Chess Olympiad in Chennai, the U-17 Girls Football World Cup, the Senior Men's Hockey World Cup.
"Every year India organises one of the best and biggest cricket leagues in the world. Currently, the country is hosting the Cricket World Cup. In these exciting times, the Executive Board of the IOC has recommended that cricket should be included in the sports programme for the 2028 Olympics. I hope we will hear a positive news about this soon," Modi said.
The Prime Minister, who declared open the 141st Session of the IOC, said that organising a global event is an opportunity for India to welcome the world to the country. India is ready to take this responsibility. He said that India's presidency of the G20 has proved the country's capacity to organise a big event as programmes were held in around 60 cities in the country to make the G20 Summit.
The Prime Minister said India is also interested in hosting the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2029.
"I am confident that India will continue to enjoy the support of the IOC. Sport is a means of not only winning medals but also of winning hearts. It is a means of joining people, inculcating peace and harmony," said PM Modi, welcoming IOC President Thomas Bach
Speaking on the occasion, IOC President Thomas Bach congratulated the country's sportspersons on their record-breaking performance in the recently concluded Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Bach, who had earlier said that there is a "strong case" for India hosting the Olympics, talked about the developments in the Olympic movement and highlighted the role Artificial Intelligence is going to play in organising the games.
He said AI is going to revolutionise broadcast facilities, spectator experience in the stadiums and in running the facilities effectively.
He also talked about the efforts being made by Paris 2024 in reducing the carbon footprint and said it is on course to fulfil the targets set.
He also invited all gathered to visit Paris during the 2024 Olympic Games in France.
IOC member from India and host of the IOC session, Nita Ambani spoke about how this session was a great confluence between India and the world.
"In this meeting of the IOC, I see the confluence of two wonderful forces. One is the Olympic Movement, which unites humanity and transcends all national, racial, religious, and linguistic barriers. The other is India, the world’s largest democracy as the host of this meeting."
"The mantra and motto of our 5,000-year-old civilisation are "Vasudeva kutumbam, which our Prime Minister declared as the theme – at India’s Presidency of the G20 Summit last month. It means: “The Entire World Is One Family,” she said.
"Today, more than ever, our world needs to reunite in fraternity and solidarity."
Mrs Ambani also congratulated India's athletes for their record medal haul at the recently concluded Asian Games 2023.