Bhubaneswar (Odisha): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday felicitated the Indian national hockey teams that scripted history, with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
In recognition of their achievement and their potential to be the top teams in the world, the Chief Minister announced that Odisha will continue to sponsor Indian hockey teams, for another 10 years. Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said, “We, in Odisha, are elated that our partnership with Hockey India has led to this great achievement for the country. I believe, Odisha and Hockey are destined to become synonymous.”
“We will continue our partnership with Hockey India. Odisha will support the Indian Hockey teams for 10 more years. This will herald a new era of Indian Hockey and bring back the glory to the nation,” he added.
The Chief Minister felicitated captain Rani Rampal and the women’s team and also felicitated the skipper, Manpreet Singh, and the men’s team for bagging a bronze in Tokyo Olympics.
Each player was awarded Rs 10 lakh and each support staff member was awarded Rs 5 lakh by the Chief Minister.
As a token of regard and appreciation, each team gifted a framed Jersey autographed by the players to the Chief Minister.
“You made us all so proud with your spirited fight at Tokyo. These are deeply emotional moments for India to witness the revival of Indian Hockey,” said Naveen Patnaik
“For nearly four decades, the hockey fans have been yearning to see India grab a medal at the Olympics. The way the entire country was glued to the screens to watch the Hockey teams’ matches, it is quite evident there is something more to hockey than just sports.
“In the background of the COVID pandemic, it is remarkable that our teams have worked so hard in spite of all challenges and emerged victorious. In these crisis times, the teams have brought smiles on the faces of crores of Indians. We all should be thankful to our boys and girls,” the CM added.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, also gave away 13 awards.
Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Dhruv Batra was also felicitated by the Chief Minister.
Speaking at the event, Batra, said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaikji and the people of Odisha for showing their love and affection for the sport of hockey and helping our teams achieve the Olympic dream for India.”
Earlier in the day, the teams arrived to a rousing welcome at the airport by fans and sportspersons alike. The atmosphere was euphoric amid fanfare and celebrations.