A reception on India’s Independence day arranged by the ministry of youth affairs and sports, and the embassy in Brazil left Indian Rio 2016 athletes disappointed and unhappy.
Reason? The athletes expected good food to be served at the late afternoon reception, or at least decent Indian snacks since most of them were missing home food.
What they did get was tea, coffee, juice and peanuts. There were also some cookies and chocolates, but the fare left the thirty athletes in a foul mood.
“Did they call us all the way from the Athletes Village for this?” asked one athlete angrily, declining to be named. The trip to the reception and back took the athletes over four hours.
Invitations to the reception were sent out by the embassy in the name of Rajiv Yadav, secretary (sports) in the ministry. Indian ambassador Sunil Lal was present at the venue where about 200 invitees turned up.
Athletes and officials were brought to the Olympians Reunion Centre in the Lagoa area near the central lagoon in Rio in two buses. Also present at the reception were Indians settled in Rio or visiting for other purposes.
“They could have arranged some good food, as athletes are always hungry. Even good snacks would have been welcome as they need to keep their bodies fed,” said Pawandeep Singh Kohli, the chief medical officer for the Indian contingent present at the reception.
To lift up the mood of the athletes, the men’s hockey team captain PR Sreejesh, with tongue firmly in cheek and a large smile on his face, said he had enjoyed the “filling food” at the reception so much that he had cancelled his dinner at the Village.