On a high over the Indian contingent’s spectacular performance in the recently concluded Hangzhou Asian Games and its good showing in the ICC men’s cricket World Cup so far, especially Team India’s trouncing of Pakistan in a group stage match, New Delhi has now expressed its keenness to host the 2036 Olympics and Paralympics. At the inauguration of the 141st session of the International Olympic Committee in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited India’s success in hosting the G20 summit to press its case for hosting the quadrennial sporting extravaganza.
India returned to the global sports stage by hosting a session of the IOC after 40 years. The last time an IOC session was held in India was in 1983. However, India’s Olympic ambitions are likely to face stiff competition from Poland, Indonesia, Korea and Mexico who have also expressed their interest in hosting the 2036 Games.
If India is successful in bidding for holding the Olympics, Ahmedabad is the likely venue for the Games. Prior to this, India has hosted the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 and the Asian Games in 1982. Other international sporting events it has held include the Under 17 Football World Cup, the World Boxing Championship and the World Wrestling Tournament.
Undoubtedly, India’s sporting journey has seen remarkable progress with the medal haul at the recent Asian Games being a pointer to its success. However, hosting an international event of the magnitude of the Olympics will require a great deal of planning and will involve huge expense and adherence to timelines. It is also important that India gets its act together where its sporting federations and infrastructure are concerned. Genuine sporting talent must be honed and stadiums and other infra must be built with long-term planning in mind. The bureaucratic malaise that haunts Indian sport must be weeded out for the successful conduct of an international multi-sport extravaganza.