Paris bound Indian athletes buoyant at Indian Olympic Association ceremonial send-off -
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Paris bound Indian athletes buoyant at Indian Olympic Association ceremonial send-off

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Athletes of the Indian Contingent along with the officials and sponsors.

Rakesh Thapliyal 

New Delhi: Paris 2024 Olympics bound Indian athletes were buoyant about their prospects at a ceremonial send-off organised by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) at the Ashoka Hotel here on Sunday.

Hon’ble Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports and Labour and Employment Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Hon’ble Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, and Indian Olympic Association President Dr. P.T. Usha, MP, were among the key dignitaries who unveiled three kits of the Indian team.

The kits, including the playing kit designed by JSW Inspire, the ceremonial dress designed by Tarun Tahiliani-owned TASVA and performance shoe and travel gear by PUMA were on show during a ramp-walk by the confident athletes.

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya said all Indians celebrated the hard work, dedication, and unwavering spirit of the country’s athletes who have earned the honour of representing India on the biggest stage. “This event is not just about the unveiling of uniform and ceremonial dress but a symbol of the dreams and aspirations of billions of Indians who stand united behind the athletes,” he said.

“I am confident that this contingent will sustain India’s growth trajectory in sports. We saw a spurt from two medals in Rio 2016 to seven in Tokyo 2020 as India rose from 67th to 48th, helped in the main by Neeraj Chopra’s Javelin Throw gold medal. I am hoping that our athletes will take us even higher on the medal table this time,” he said.

Dr. Mandaviya said that Government has been in the forefront of a movement to make India a sporting powerhouse. “Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, Government has supported athletes through various schemes such as Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) which provides specialised support to those who rise to the top,” he said.

“Government has worked relentlessly to support athletes across disciplines to keep their world ranking high, to send them to train in different locations in India and abroad, to engage renowned foreign experts as coaches and support staff and to ensure the sports ecosystem keeps pace with the evolution around the world,” he said.

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri said it was matter of pride for his Ministry that it could support India’s Olympic Sport. “I am also glad many of our public sector corporations employ many sportspersons, including Paris-bound Olympians. I am confident that the Indian team will feel inspired to produce memorable performances in Paris and come back with a good number of medals,” he said.

In her welcome address, Dr. Usha said she had drawn on her experience as an athlete in ensuring that India’s athletes would not be short of sports science support in Paris 2024. “We have drawn up a very athlete-centric plan to support our athletes to perform at their peak in Paris,” she said.

“We have assembled a strong team under Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala’s leadership. It includes sports medicine experts, wellness specialists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and a sleep scientist,” Dr. Usha said. “For the first time, IOA will also give a participation allowance to the athletes and the coaching and support staff. I am confident India will come back from Paris with its best showing in any Olympics.”

The design of the Team India’s playing kit showcases the confidence, versatility and ferocity of the terrains of our mighty nation. With each contour and flow echoing the resilience of our landscapes, that is fierce, embodying the indomitable spirit of our athletes. It’s more than just fabric, it’s a symbol of pride, woven with the spirit of India’s champions.

The fabric used in the kit provides the athletes with maximum comfort. The anti-static feature of the fabric avoids static cling while the stretch feature allows the garment to move with the athlete’s body and conform to their shape, providing a comfortable, custom fit that allows for maximum range of motion.

The air vent allows facilitation of airflow and heat dissipation. The moisture wicking technology allows the fabric to draw moisture away from the skin to the outer surface of the garment where it can evaporate. This will help keep the athlete’s skin dry and cool during physical activity, reducing chafing or irritation. The anti-microbial feature helps prevent unpleasant odour and fabric degradation.

India will be sending a contingent of close to 120 athletes to the Olympics, including an Athletics team led by defending champion in the men’s javelin Neeraj Chopra, a 21-member Shooting team and a 16-member men’s Hockey team.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Reliance Foundation, Adani and Aditya Birla Capital are the principal sponsors for Team India at the Paris Olympics. Yes Bank has come on board as the Banking Partner while Dream Set Go and Herbal Life will be the official Travel Partner and Nutrition Partner respectively. EBCO, Borosil, AMUL and INOX Leisure are the associate partners. JSW Inspire are the official Sports Wear Partner while PUMA is the Sports Footwear Partner, TASVA is providing the ceremonial kits for the Indian Contingent. IOS Sports & Entertainment is the official Marketing Agency for Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

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