IOA chief PT Usha encourages India to host Olympics


Buoyed by the record medal haul at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president P T Usha on Sunday supported the government’s plan to place a proposal to host the 2036 Olympics.
India won an unprecedented 107 medals, including 28 gold, in the games that ended on Sunday. In the Chinese city, the country saw an increase of 37 medals from the previous best achieved in the 2018 edition.
“After this record-breaking performance in the Hangzhou Asian Games, if our country’s athletes, coaches and national federations work hard, I feel we can win double digit medals in the Paris Olympics,” Usha said.
“The government is doing everything possible for the betterment of Indian sports and for the athletes. Our prime minister takes a lot of interest in the country’s sports.”
She said the time has come for India to bid for the Olympics.
“We should bid for the 2036 Olympics. I am sure India will win more medals in the Paris Olympics than in Tokyo, and then, with the medals to show, we can host the Olympics,” said the 59-year-old former track star fondly known as ‘Payyoli Express’.
The government could formally express India’s interest to host the 2036 Olympics during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai from October 15 to 17.
After recent reforms, the IOC has moved away from the traditional bidding process. After the interested countries place their proposal of interest, the IOC’s Future Host Commission will identify and propose its preferred candidate to the Executive Board.
The Executive Board can then enter targeted dialogue with a bid and then decide whether to recommend that a proposal be brought to a vote at an IOC Session.
Usha, who took charge as IOA chief in December last year, said she was not at all surprised at India winning more than 100 medals in Hangzhou.
“I am an athlete myself and I knew from the beginning that India will win more than 100 medals in Hangzhou. So I was not surprised when we crossed 100 medals,” said Usha, who missed an Olympic 400m hurdles medal by one-hundredth of a second in the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
“When it (100 medals) happened, I told my colleagues that I knew India will win around 105 medals, and that happened.