India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday shared a light-hearted interaction with Commonwealth Games-bound athletes and wished them luck for the big event. Modi also highlighted the struggle, grit, and determination of these athletes and motivated them to come good when the quadrennial event starts on July 28.
The Indian PM also urged the athletes to not think about the expectations of people back in the country and focus only on giving their best at the Birmingham multi-sport event. The session went for more than half an hour and had every athlete who will be representing the country at CWG 2022. The Women’s cricket team, who will be making their maiden appearance at the Games were also present.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur were also present in the session. Modi continuously highlighted the need to focus on themselves. “Kyun pade ho chakkar mei, koi nahi hai takaar mei. You have to play with this attitude there,” Modi said during the virtual interactive session.
The Indian PM also asked some of the athletes about their backstory and how they reached this stage. “I joined Indian Army in 2012 and did normal duty for four years. After that I took up athletics. The hard army training and the tough Siachen Glacier posting helped me a lot during competitions,” 3000m steeple chaser Avinash Sable said. “In my event there are a lot of obstacles, we have to jump through hurdles similar to how army training is, like crawling.”
Modi then asked cyclist David Beckham if he ever tried a game of football with teammate Ronaldo Singh. “We don’t play football. Most of the time goes in training for track cycling,” replied a shy David.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2022
The session was attended by Olympic double medallist PV Sindhu, Tokyo silver medallist lifter Mirabai Chanu, women’s hockey goalkeeper Savita Punia, Rio Games bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik, boxers Shiva Thapa and Sumit, shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen. Notably, the CWG 2022 is scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 with a total of 215 Indian athletes participating in 141 events across 19 sporting disciplines.