BENGALURU: India has hosted several multi-sports events, including the Asian Games (1951, 1982) and the Commonwealth Games (2010), but the Olympics has been a pipe dream. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief Narinder Batra has, from time to time, explained how the country is keen to bring the 2032 Olympics to India. And on Monday, sports minister Kiren Rijiju stated that they are exploring that possibility.
Hosting an event of such a magnitude needs a massive budget. The reported cost of CWG 2010 in Delhi was Rs 70,608 crore. The cost for hosting the Summer Games will be much greater and it also needs a green signal from the Centre.
"The government has to give clearance as it has to be a solid commitment. It is not just Rs 1000-2000 crore. Olympics is of a massive scale. We are still discussing about hosting the Olympics and bidding for it is a huge task that needs so much preparation before we actually make any announcement. I cannot make any announcement, but we are exploring the possibilities as I think India has the capability to host the Olympics," said Rijiju.
The minister was busy attending functions throughout the day. After participating in the 'Fit Bengaluru for Fit India' programme, he rushed to the Sports Authority of India centre, where he inaugurated the gymnasium complex and laid the foundation stone for a 330-bed hostel (girls), synthetic athletics track and upgradation of kitchen and dining hall in the centre.
With SAI Bengaluru, like other centres in India, also housing some Tokyo-bound athletes, he stressed on the need of having proper basic facilities as well for athletes to bring the best out of them.
Though the likes of walkers, including KT Irfan, Bhawana Jat, who have qualified for the Olympics, were in attendance at SAI, there have been contrasting reports, suggesting that the event might be further postponed. Rijiju claimed that the 'Olympics will not be postponed further'.