Mumbai: International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Mrs Nita Ambani has described today’s overwhelming decision to award India the right to host the IOC Session in Mumbai in 2023 as “a significant development for India’s Olympic aspirations and a matter of great pride and joy”.
An IOC session is the annual meeting of the members of the IOC, comprising 101 voting members and 45 honorary members. It discusses and decides on the key activities of the global Olympics movement including adoption or amendment of the Olympic Charter, election of IOC members and office bearers and election of the host city of Olympics.
The decision confirms India will be hosting this prestigious IOC meeting for the first time since 1983, in what is set to be the start of a new era of engagement between India’s youthful population and the Olympic Movement. Mrs Nita Ambani also reaffirmed her long standing commitment towards enabling the country hosts the Youth Olympic Games and the Olympic Games in the future.
“The Olympic Movement is back to India after a 40-year wait! I am truly grateful to the International Olympic Committee for entrusting India with the honour of hosting the IOC Session in Mumbai in 2023,” said Mrs Nita Ambani. “This will be a significant development for India’s Olympic aspiration and will herald the start of a new era for Indian sport.”
“Sport has always been a beacon of hope and inspiration for millions around the world,” she added. “We are one of the youngest countries in the world today and I’m excited for the youth of India to embrace and experience first-hand the magic of the Olympics. It is our dream to strengthen this partnership further and host the Olympic Games in India in the years to come!”
An Indian delegation, comprising Mrs Nita Ambani, the first woman to be elected as an IOC member from India, and including Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Dr Narinder Batra, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Mr Anurag Singh Thakur, and India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist (Beijing 2008, shooting) Mr Abhinav Bindra, presented a compelling case during the 139th IOC Session, held alongside the ongoing Winter Olympics in Beijing. The delegation spoke of the unique opportunity for the Olympic Movement to engage with India’s passionate sports fans.
“Nearly half of India’s population, over 600 million, are under 25 years of age,” said Mrs Nita Ambani, during her speech to IOC delegates. “This makes India one of the most crucial and exciting places to nurture and grow the Olympic Movement. Inspired by the Olympic Values Education Programme, it is our mission to identify potential talent and guide them to greatness in the world of sport. To coincide with the Olympic Session 2023, we propose to launch a series of elite sports development programmes for youth across deprived communities.”
Speaking at the successful conclusion of the bidding process, IOA President Dr Narinder Batra said:
“I thank Mrs Nita Ambani for her vision and leadership and also thank all my IOC Member colleagues for their support, I cannot wait to see you here in Mumbai next year. This is the start of a new era for India sport – an era that features the long-term goal of hosting the Olympic Games in India. We are ambitious and recognise our objectives are bold. But India is on an exciting journey and we want the Olympic Movement to play a central part in building a brighter future for our next generation. Delivering a truly memorable IOC Session in Mumbai in 2023, with a strong emphasis on youth potential, sustainability, and innovation, will be one of the first steps to showcase India’s new sporting capacity.”
The Session, to be held in the summer of 2023, will be hosted at the state-of-the-art, brand new Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. Situated in the heart of the city at Bandra Kurla Complex, the JWC is the largest convention centre in India and will start operations in early 2022.