NEW DELHI: The Indian Olympic Association and the JSW Group on Thursday announced a first-of-its-kind partnership that will see the Group set up an Indian Olympic Hospitality House in Tokyo during the Summer Olympics next year.
As a first step towards this direction, the official India House logo was unveiled by Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, in the presence of IOA president Narinder Batra, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta, JSW Sports director Parth Jindal and JSW Sports CEO Mustafa Ghouse, at an event here on Thursday.
“I attended my first Olympics in Rio in 2016 and realised that the Olympics is a celebration of not just sport, but a global collaboration. I visited Hospitality Houses of many countries but realised that there wasn’t one for India. I felt that India has a great opportunity to showcase their culture through an India House at the Olympics and that’s where the journey started,” said Jindal.
Scheduled to be operational from July 2020, the India Olympic Hospitality House will be set up over an area of 2,200 sq.m in close proximity to the Games Village and multiple Games venues in the Ariake region of Tokyo. It will offer a range of activities and experiences for traveling fans and supporters who will be in Tokyo for the quadrennial sporting extravaganza. A staple among developed sporting nations, this will be the first-ever such venue for India at the Olympic Games.
Batra expressed that the India House will be a home away from home for Indian athletes and fans at the Tokyo Olympics.
“The India House is a great initiative and we are pleased that JSW has come on board to showcase our culture and heritage at the Olympics through this Hospitality House. Through this, we hope that the Indian athletes and fans can feel at home in a foreign land during the Tokyo Olympics,” said Batra.
Mehta, who was involved in the process of identifying the proposed site for India House, highlighted that the event would be special as it would mark the centenary of India’s participation at the Olympic Games. Indian athletes first participated in the Olympic Games in 1920 at Antwerp.
"When Parth approached IOA with the idea of setting up an India House, we thought it could be a great initiative to mark a 100 years to India’s first participation in the Olympic Games. The India House will host special meetings and dignitaries from different federations and Olympic Committees and help India make its presence felt in the Olympic Movement," he said.
The official India House logo, unveiled by Rijiju, is inspired by Indian national elements like the lotus, peacock and the heritage arch. It will provide a window for the world to look at India and its heritage during the Games and combines the historical side of India with a modern outlook.
“The India House at the 2020 Olympics is an amazing concept. We need a team to produce a sports champion. We have to create the right ambience for our athletes at the Olympics. The India House will represent the idea of India at the Tokyo Games,” said Rijiju.
Through this initiative, the organisers hope to cement India’s presence as a significant member of the Olympic Movement. Running through the duration of the Games, the venue will host watch parties, medal celebrations and meet-and-greet opportunities with Indian athletes. Traditional Indian sports will be displayed, and visitors will also get a taste of a variety of Indian cuisine which will be on offer. A dedicated Athlete Lounge for the Indian Olympians to feel at home and have access to medical facilities and food will be available on site. A Media Centre to host traveling Indian media personnel has also been planned in the area.