India hosting Youth Olympics will be a game-changer: IOC member Nita Ambani

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and Reliance foundation chairperson Nita Ambani said she has often wondered why the country doesn’t have ‘Olympic Games presence’ yet.

Nita Ambani, speaking exclusively to India Today, her dream is to initiate the process that will lead to India hosting the Olympic Games in the future so that the future generation can realise this big dream.

Nita Ambani, who was elected as an IOC member in 2016, said the 1st step towards realising the dream would be to bid for the Olympic session in 2023. Notably, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), at its Annual General Body meeting last year, had reportedly made a wishlist in which it said it would be looking at hosting the 2026 Youth Olympics and the Olympic Games in 2032.

India, in January 2020, proposed to host the 2023 IOC session in Mumbai. The said IOC session is expected to choose the host city for the 2030 Winter Olympics. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra and Nita Ambani submitted the formal bid to the IOC chief Thomas Back on the sidelines of the governing body’s 134th Session in Lausanne.

An IOC Session is the general meeting of the members (currently 100-odd) of the IOC, held once a year in which each member has one vote. It is the IOC’s supreme organ and its decisions are final.

“We have never had an Olympic Games presence in India. We are No. 5 in GDP. We have seen Games going to Tokyo, Australia, Japan but never come to India. My dream is to start little by little and we realise this dream for the generations to come,” Nita Ambani told India Today.

“It’s wonderful to see us now doing well, especially our girls doing well at the Olympics. But what about bringing the Games to India?

“The first step is to bid for the Olympics session in 2023. After that, I would love to bid for the Youth Olympics. That would be a game-changer.

“I think it’s all of standing together, we can do it for India. If we get the Youth Olympics to India, we can change the lives of many children. That will be our gateway to the Summer Olympics.

“It’s win-win for both, for the Olympics and for India.”

City Football Group investing in India massive news for football in the country: Nita Ambani

Nita Ambani, who is also the Founder and Chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited, also congratulated FC Goa for qualifying for the group stages of AFC Champions League.

Speaking on City Football Group’s investment in Mumbai City FC, Nita Ambani said the big move has opened doors for many more such ventures in the country across sports.

“First, I think, we all need to congratulate FC Goa for their historic spot in the most prestigious AFC Champs League. For ISL, this has been one of the most iconic years. We have got City Football Group, which owns Man City, come and invest in an Indian club. A decade ago, no one would have thought that a top club, a champions club would invest in India,” Nita Ambani said.

“Man City coming to India has opened up many doors for investment into clubs not only in football but in various other fields of sports.”

Managing Mumbai Indians changed my perception about power of sport: Nita Ambani

“I was 44 when I took over managing Mumbai Indians. That changed the perception of what sport does to you and does to children. It channelises their energy to do better things. It teaches them how to lose and how to win gracefully,” Ambani said.

“So that’s how I started my thing saying what we really need to do is go to the grassroots and take things from there.”

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