Khelo India Winter Games Opening Ceremony: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the second Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg and said that the event is a step towards making Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports in the country. Athletes from 27 states and Union Territories are competing in the Games which will conclude on March 2. “This is a step towards making India’s presence felt in the international winter games arena and also make Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports,” he said in a virtual address. “These Games will strengthen the resolve for ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat’. I am told the participation has doubled this year and it is a reflection of the inclination towards winter sports in the country,” he added.
He also said that each and every athlete who is a part of this event has become a brand ambassador for the country. “When you show your talent at Khelo India-Winter Games, remember that you are not just a part of a sport, but you are also a brand ambassador of self-reliant India,”
The event is being organised by the Sports Ministry in collaboration with the J&K Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of J&K.
The disciplines that will feature in it include alpine skiing, nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering, ice hockey, and ice skating among others.
A total of 27 states, Union Territories and boards will be participating in the games.
Earlier, union sports minister Kiren Rijiju has made an appeal to people, saying that those who cannot play sports, should at least encourage the players by watching the games. The Sports Minister made the statement here while addressing a group of players and ‘Khelo India’ medal winners during a programme organised by ‘Krida Bharti’.
“Not everyone can play games, but if you can’t play, then watch the games and encourage the players. The number of viewers of a game in a stadium and people watching them on television decide the popularity of the game and can attract sponsorships which can help the sport grow,” Rijiju said here on Thursday evening. He also spoke about people’s view towards the native and non-Olympic Games.
“If we arrange a hockey match in a stadium with a seating capacity of 80,000, but if there are only 2,000 viewers, then who will support that game? If the television viewers for a game are high, the sponsors will run towards the organisers,” the minister said. “Nothing will happen if we keep blaming the government. People have to get themselves connected with the sports and at least view those matches on ground or on television and encourage (them).