In another reinforcement of the surge in sporting endeavours by the government, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju reiterated the desire for India to host the Olympics in the next decade or so. He was quoted by the TOI saying “we are exploring the possibility of hosting the Games as I think we have the capability of hosting the Games”. This is another of the promises made by the government regarding hosting major sports events after Indian Olympic Association president, Narinder Batra mentioned back in May that there is serious interest to host the Olympics in 2032 after bidding for the Youth Olympics in 2026.
Sports Minister Rijiju was recently in Bangalore to lay the foundation for several new facilities of the Sports Authority of India — some of which include a new girls hostel and upgrades to the kitchen, dining area and athletics track. All the projects are expected to be completed by 2022 under the Khelo India budget. He also took part in a mini-triathlon where he jogged for 3km, cycled for 1.5 km and swam for 50 m in order to spread the message of Fit Bengaluru, Fit India. He sanctioned monetary assistance for two projects in Shivamogga along with a 50 crore sports centre as well.
He spoke on the news of the vaccine rollout for athletes that would take place on a priority basis once it was over for Covid warriors. Athletes have been promised full support by him and his ministry ever since the first phase of vaccination began and Rijiju continued to stress on the importance of Covid preparation prior to the Olympics for all athletes, coaches and support staff. Regarding the ban given out by WADA on the National Dope Testing Laboratory, he stated that the talks regarding the same were going well and that there are hopes the suspension could be revoked soon after the first order came in August 2019.
After inaugurating sports facilities in Bangalore, Rijiju is headed to Gujarat where alongside Ram Nath Kovind, he will inaugurate the world’s largest cricket stadium (Sardar Patel Cricket stadium) prior to the third India-England test.