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President felicitates Olympic medal winners

Last updated on: August 19, 2012 00:31 IST

President felicitates Olympic medal winners

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President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday congratulated India's Olympic medal winners at a felicitation ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

Mukherjee called for the creation of sports infrastructure across the country, nurturing of talent at grass root level and promotion of a sporting culture.  

"I congratulate the Indian Contingent for their performance in London. Those who won medals deserve the highest of praise. But those who did not, also, deserve equal appreciation and encouragement," said Mukherjee. 

"We must collectively lift our nation to greater heights. The onus for doing so is not just on our athletes and sports authorities. It must become the duty of every citizen to promote a sporting culture in our country," he added.

Photo Courtesy: Rashtrapati Bhavan


Image: Pranab Mukherjee with the Olympic medal winners


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A sporting nation

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"A strong sporting nation can be built only on the foundation of sound sports infrastructure. We must create sports facilities across the country and nurture talent from the grassroots," the President said.

He said while the entire nation is rejoicing the achievements in London, it was a moment when everyone needs to re-dedicate in building India's sporting future.

"Let preparations for the next Olympics begin from today itself. Let us set our goals high and tell ourselves - 'Rio, here we come'."

Photo Courtesy: Rashtrapati Bhavan


Image: Pranab Mukherjee felicitates Saina Nehwal


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'Our athletes must now cross the last mile'

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The President complimented medal winners -- Gagan Narang, Saina Nehwal, Vijay Kumar, MC Mary Kom, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar -- and said, "through their success, we have broken through the glass ceiling of our past."

"What is now needed is a little more determination and perseverance. Our athletes must now cross the last mile. I'm confident that if we set our minds to the task, India can join the ranks of leading sporting nations of the world," the President said.

Photo Courtesy: Rashtrapati Bhavan


Image: Pranab Mukherjee felicitates Vijay Kumar


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World conquerors

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Union Minister for Sports, Ajay Maken, Indian Olympic Association acting-president, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, and Nita Chowdhury, secretary (sports) were also present on the occasion.

Maken while terming the medal winners as "world conquerors," said the entire country is proud of their achievements.

"All the medal winners are world conquerors. It's the biggest ever medal haul by the biggest ever Indian contingent and we are proud of your success," he said.


Image: Indian Olympic stars at the India Gate


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Confident of another good show

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Maken thanked President for his contribution to the Indian contingent's success at the London Olympics as a Finance Minister.

"It was the President who, during his tenure as a Finance Minister, allocated the budget of Rs 260 crore for Sports Ministry's OPEX London 2012 programme. It was Pranab da who also approved our budget for the 2010 Commonwealth Games as a Finance Minister. He made an important contribution to our success."

Malhotra, meanwhile, thanked the President for honouring the London Olympics medallists and said, "With the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games scheduled in 2014 and next Olympics in Rio in 2016 we are confident of another good show by our athletes."

Photo Courtesy: Rashtrapati Bhavan


Image: President Pranab Mukherjee


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