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Indian Athletes Sent Off with Ceremonial Fanfare for Paris 2024 Olympics

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) organized a grand ceremonial send-off for the Indian athletes bound for the Paris 2024 Olympics at the Ashoka Hotel on Sunday. The event was marked by the unveiling of three distinct kits for the Indian team, showcasing the unity and pride of the nation.

Among the dignitaries present were Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports and Labour and Employment; Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Dr. P.T. Usha, President of the Indian Olympic Association and Member of Parliament. They unveiled the athletes’ playing kit designed by JSW Inspire, ceremonial dress by Tarun Tahiliani-owned TASVA, and performance shoes and travel gear by PUMA.

“This event is not just about the unveiling of uniform and ceremonial dress but a symbol of the dreams and aspirations of billions of Indians who stand united behind the athletes,” said Dr. Mandaviya. “I am confident that this contingent will sustain India’s growth trajectory in sports.”

Dr. Mandaviya highlighted the significant strides India has made in international sports, referencing the increase from two medals at Rio 2016 to seven at Tokyo 2020, notably including Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal in javelin. He emphasized the government’s ongoing commitment to transforming India into a sporting powerhouse, supported by initiatives like the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri echoed these sentiments, expressing pride in his ministry’s support for Olympic sports and the public sector corporations employing many of the Paris-bound athletes. “I am confident that the Indian team will feel inspired to produce memorable performances in Paris and come back with a good number of medals,” he stated.

In her welcome address, Dr. Usha assured that the athletes would not lack sports science support in Paris, thanks to a comprehensive plan under the leadership of Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala. “We have assembled a strong team that includes sports medicine experts, wellness specialists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and a sleep scientist,” she said. Dr. Usha also announced that, for the first time, IOA would provide a participation allowance to athletes and their support staff.

The design of Team India’s playing kit reflects the country’s diverse and resilient landscapes, embodying the spirit of the athletes. The kit, made from fabric designed for maximum comfort, includes features like anti-static properties, stretch for a custom fit, air vents for airflow and heat dissipation, moisture-wicking technology to keep athletes dry, and anti-microbial properties to prevent odor and fabric degradation.

India will send a contingent of nearly 120 athletes to the Paris Olympics, including a strong Athletics team led by defending javelin champion Neeraj Chopra, a 21-member Shooting team, and a 16-member men’s Hockey team.

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