India’s hockey joy felt at Burj Khalifa; Odisha Govt’s efforts to promote hockey, praised!


India’s bronze medal win in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has brought unimaginable joy to Indians living in India and across the globe. India’s thrilling 5-4 victory in the bronze medal match yesterday got India its first podium finish in 41 years.

It is being seen as a huge emotional moment, particularly for a generation which had heard great stories of India’s hockey exploits but in reality, had only seen the game’s decline. This medal has white-washed over four-decades of disappointment and dejection that the admirers of this sport have faced. Probably this is the reason why there has been an outpouring of emotions after this excellent and hard-fought victory.

A group of Expatriate Indians got together at the foot of the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa yesterday evening to celebrate their joy at this remarkable achievement.

Holding the Indian Flag, placards and sharing sweets with each other, the group symbolically celebrated this huge success.   They obviously didn’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The participants said that they wanted to send out a symbolic but highly significant message to all the people back home – that Non-Resident Indians across the globe share the joy of this magical moment and would like to express their appreciation to the Indian Hockey Team, the coach and the entire Indian Hockey Fraternity for providing such an incredible moment of celebration, after a long wait of 41 years.

According to Priyadarshee Panigrahi, who is General Manager of a Large FMCG company based in Dubai and was part of the celebrations, this was the moment he and his generation have been dreaming of. A podium finish after 41 years is an emotional moment and Priyadarshee hoped that this would lead to a rebirth of the game in India.

Imdad Mohammed who is an Insurance Industry professional said that it was very apt to celebrate such a momentous victory at an iconic venue – Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world.

Another reveler Dev Mishra, who is an IT professional, said this is a moment to thank the Indian Team and Congratulate them for the joy that have brought to all the Indians.

It is notable to mention that most of the participants in today’s celebrations were from the eastern India state of Odisha.  Odisha has sponsored the national men’s and women’s hockey teams since 2018. It has ramped up its investment in hockey and other sports infrastructure. Over the years, it has also produced several national-level hockey players.  With this victory, Odisha’s contribution to the advancement of this game is being widely talked about and yesterday’s celebrations also thanked the Odisha Government and it’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for their generous patronage of this sport. This support has definitely helped a lot in reviving the game and has been instrumental in India producing world class performances.

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