The Indian Olympics contingent, including the three medal winnners Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar and Vijender Singh were today felicitated by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) at a grand ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The IOA presented cheques of Rs 25 lakh to gold medallist Bindra and Rs 10 lakh each to bronze medallists Sushil and Vijender. Those, who reached quarterfinals like pugilists Akhil Kumar and Jitender, were also rewarded with Rs 5 lakh each.
IOA President Suresh Kalmadi said that the outstanding performance by the Indian athletes in Beijing Games have shown that Olympic disciplines have come a long way in the country.
"Olympic sports have come of age in the country. The jinx is broken and I can assure you of a bagful of medals in 2012 London Games.
"Until now it was only cricket, which is played by only 10 countries. But now we have Olympic medallists also who have won in competitions among over 200 countries," Kalmadi said.
"I was pleased to see cricket victory was the third headline, when we won medal in Olympics," he added.
The IOA President also said that he has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring those industries, which are supporting the sportspersons, under tax exemption.
"Today I met the Prime Minister and told him that the industries supporting the Olympic sports should be exempted from tax," he said.
"We are economic power now. We have to be sporting power too," he added.