Warm Welcome At Airport as Odisha Hockey Olympians Return
Bhubaneswar: The Hockey Olympians from Odisha were given warm reception at Biju Patnaik International Airport on Tuesday evening after the historic performance of men’s and women’s hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics.
Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas were welcomed by Sports and Youth Services minister Tusharkanti Behera, Commissioner-Cum- Secretary, Sports and Youth Services, Department R Vineel Krishna. Chairman Odisha Hockey Promotion Council, Dilip Tirkey, and Abhijit Paul of Odisha Olympic Association were also present at the airport.
Following Indian National Hockey teams outstanding performance at the Tokyo Olympics, Hockey players from Odisha, Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas returned home to a rousing welcome and celebrations at Bhubaneswar airport.
Men’s Hockey team scripted a history by winning a bronze medal at Olympics after 41 years, women’s team semifinal for the first time and gave a tough fight in the semis.
“While a dream campaign came to an end, it ushered a new era for Hockey and Odisha is proud that players from the state are forever making their mark in the international platform and this time they have brought glory not only for their state but for the entire nation. We are extremely proud of each one of them. Our Olympians have inspired a generation of young hockey players and Hockey surely will scale greater heights from here on, shared Behera.
Birendra Lakra, the legendary defender from Odisha was selected as co vice captain of the men’s team for his second Olympics, while Deep Grace Ekka was named as the joint vice-captain of the Indian women’s hockey team for the Tokyo Olympics.