Usain Bolt walked away with the Athlete of the Year award at the 2009 World Athletics Gala in Monte Carlo last weekend and I am glad my colleague on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council and Jamaica Olympic Association secretary-general Neville McCook introduced me to the world sprint champion. I am happy to inform you that Bolt told me he is keen to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next year.
Having also got International Athletic Foundation Honorary President Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAAF President Lamine Diack to agree to visit Delhi during the Commonwealth Games, I am now looking forward to a couple of days in London where I am meeting London 2012 Olympic Games Organising Committee Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe.
I will discuss the legacy that such events can leave and am hoping to get the BBC to come on board as a rights holding broadcaster.
It is an honour to be chosen by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to represent India at the Nov 28 sports breakfast hosted by the Commonwealth Games Federation and Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Mr. Patrick Manning for the Commonwealth Heads of Government at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) retreat venue in Trinidad.
It gives us an opportunity to impress upon the Heads of Governments the legacy benefits that the Commonwealth Games will leave as well as the rapid growth of host city in terms of infrastructure and development.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Commonwealth Games will leave an amazing legacy for Olympic sport in our nation, creating an unprecedented sports consciousness among the Indians.
As for Delhi, you are well aware of how Delhi Metro is changing travel patterns, how additional overbridges and new roads will make life a great deal smoother for the citizens.
The new terminal that is coming up at the Indira Gandhi International Airport will be world class and become one of the hubs that will promote tourism into India.
I am sure Delhi will enjoy the benefits of the Games even after the mega event in October 2010.
Meanwhile, I am delighted that the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 is moving with clockwork precision across Europe, visiting iconic sites and being carried by some outstanding athletes.
The baton's 3381-km journey so far has been amazing, visiting iconic sites and bridging communities across the Commonwealth.
Amidst all this excitement, I am pleased to inform you that we have not lost focus of the ensuing visit of the Co-ordination Commission (CoCom).
We are well on the way to ensuring that all 34 Functional Areas of the Organising Committee are up to the mark and in keeping with the Games Master Schedule.
My team — and we are adding more and more personnel, including those being deputed by Government and the armed forces on our request as well as international sportspersons — and I are working hard to reach the milestones that we have set for ourselves.
I am confident that we will organise the best ever Games.