A day after the city of Rio de Janeiro bagged the 2016 Olympics and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wept, the images from faraway Copenhagen sent hopes soaring in Delhi.
One year from now, the capital hosts the world’s second largest sporting event, the Commonwealth Games. After the success of Brazil, another developing nation, India, sees a real chance of bagging the biggest — the Olympics.
“We’ll be bidding for the 2020 Olympics,” Lalit Bhanot, Indian Olympics Association (IOA) vice-president, told Hindustan Times. “Rio’s win last night is inspiring.”
Rio got the votes of 66 of the 98 voting delegates of the International Olympic Committee, a fabulous success for South America, where Brazil is located, a continent that has never hosted the games.
“It has given an impetus to our preparations for the 2010 games,” said minister of state for urban development Saugata Ray. “I think we’ll be able to put up a good show. And that will definitely help us showcase India in its bid for the 2020 Olympics.”
It might not just be a pipe dream. IOC president Jacques Rogge had told IOA president Suresh Kalmadi at a public event two years ago: “I think you’ve great potential based on the general conditions of your country’s progress.”
The 2020 games will be awarded in 2013.