Bhubaneswar: Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams Tuesday arrived in the state Capital. They are to attend a felicitation ceremony being hoisted by them for Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Incidentally the men broke a 41-year-old medal-less jinx by winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. The women unluckily missed out on the bronze by a whisker and finished fourth. Even then, it was the best-ever show by an Indian women’s team at the Olympics.
Both the teams arrived at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here at around 11:00am. They received a warm and traditional welcome at the airport.
According to a source, the teams will be taken on a ride around the city. They will meet mediapersons at 3.00pm. At 6.30 pm, the Chief Minister will felicitate them at Lok Seva Bhavan here.
Worth mentioning, Indian Hockey team won Olympic gold in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964 and 1980. However, the 1980 Olympics is not given much credence as some to the top nations had boycotted the Moscow Olympics.
Notably, the Odisha Government has been the official sponsors of both the national hockey teams since 2018. According to sources, the government is spending close to Rs 150 crore for the two teams in five years. The sponsorship deal was signed in 2018 in New Delhi and was attended by the Odisha CM.