In an event held at Olympic Bhawan today, the Indian Olympic Association Announced that Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan will be the Goodwill Ambassador of Indian Contingent for Rio Olympics 2016. During the announcement, key members of Indian contingent to the Rio 2016 Summer Games, M C Mary Kom (Olympic medalist boxer), Sardar Singh (Captain, Indian Men Hockey Team), Ritu Rani (Captain, Indian Women Hockey Team), Apurvi Chandela (Shooting) and Manika Batra (Table Tennis) were present.
Post the announcement, speaking on this new association, Mr. Salman Khan said “I am honoured that Indian Olympic Association has chosen me as the goodwill ambassador for the Indian contingent for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
“It is a matter of great national pride that our athletes are performing better and better at the Olympic Games and I think we should all join hands in giving them every support and cheer for them so that Rio 2016 becomes our best Olympic tally”,he further added.
This association was facilitated by the Indian Olympic Association’s official marketing agency, IOS Sports & Entertainment.
The IOA President, Mr. N Ramachandran, speaking about the association, commented,”We welcome Salman Khan as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian Contingent for Rio Olympics and his association is in line with our focus to create the required excitement in the country. His association will not only attract sports lovers but also help motivate the players to do well in the Olympics. We are sure our association with Salman Khan will go a long way”
Having seen the fruitfulness of association between various Indian sporting leagues and Bollywood for years, IOA gave in to the idea to cobrand the Rio bound contingent. So, came the historical decision to appoint a goodwill ambassador from Bollywood. The idea behind it is to leverage the mass appeal of the Superstar to lead a national campaign to cheer the Indian athletes in their quest for Olympic glory.
Mr. Rajeev Mehta, the Secretary General of Indian Olympic Association, commented,“We are happy to have Bollywood superstar Mr. Salman Khan on board as our goodwill ambassador. I am sure his association with IOA for Rio Olympics will boost morale of Indian athletes during Olympics.”
The Indian Women Boxing Icon, a five times World Champion and Olympic medalist boxer MC Mary Kom, commented,“This is a big moment for all of us that Mr. Salman Khan has joined us as our family member during Rio Olympics. My preparations for Rio Olympic qualification are going on and will be competing in the World Championship soon”.
Sardar Singh, Captain of the Rio bound Indian Men Hockey Team spoke, “I am happy that Salman Khan has come forward to support and cheer for us during Rio Olympic Games.”
“It’s a big moment for all the athletes participating in the Rio Olympics. Our preparations for the Rio Olympics are going well and we are hopeful of delivering our best results this time”, he further added.
Ritu Rani, Captain of the Rio bound Indian Women Hockey Team (Rio Qualified) said “I am happy that Bollywood superstar Mr. Salman Khan has come forward to support and cheer for us during Olympics.Our team has qualified for Rio Olympics after a period of 36 years and we are not leaving any stone unturned in our preparations for this big event.
Commonwealth Games 2014 Gold medalist shooter Apurvi Chandela, speaking about her preparations for the Rio 2016 Summer Games, said,“My preparations for the Rio Olympic Games are on in full swing and I am glad to know that Mr. Salman has joined us to support and boost our confidence”.
India’s top ranked Table Tennis player Manika Batra (Rio Qualified) said “I am a fan of Salman Khan over the years and to have him back our efforts in our mission to make the country proud makes me extremely happy”.
The Indian contingent for the Rio Olympic Games has till date 75 Indian athletes in 8 disciplines qualified and many more are likely to qualify in the next two months.