Kalmadi dares to dream, thinks India can host Olympics
India's weaknesses in staging multi-discipline sports events stood exposed during the crisis-hit run-up to the Commonwealth Games but Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi has still not lost hope of bringing the Olympics to the country.india Updated: Sep 30, 2010 13:37 IST
India's weaknesses in staging multi-discipline sports events stood exposed during the crisis-hit run-up to the Commonwealth Games but Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi has still not lost hope of bringing the Olympics to the country.
Kalmadi, who was speaking at the Global Sports Summit "Turf 2010" organised by FICCI, said organising good a Commonwealth Games would help the country organise the Olympics also.
"The biggest legacy (of CWG) is Olympics. Cricket is the most popular sport in our country but it is played by just 10 countries. Olympics has all sports. We have to ensure that Olympics come up. This is our opportunity and CWG will help," Kalmadi said.
India intends to bid for the 2020 Games but the Indian Olympic Association and the Sports Ministry have been at loggerheads on the issue. The Sports Ministry has said it's not aware about India's bid for the Olympic Games and no such effort can go ahead without the government's nod.
The embattled OC chairman also hit out at the critics of the Games and said he was ready for any inquiry post the Games.
"BBC showed the pictures of toilet with (paan) stains. But that shot was one month old. There are a lot of misconceptions. There has been talk of toilet papers of Rs 4000. But there is a box which has 100 papers and each one is of Rs 40.
"I am ready for inquiry. Inquiry must be held but I am looking after only the Games. My budget is Rs 1600 crores and not the 36,000 crores you yell," he said.
Talking about the Opening Ceremony on October 3 at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, it will be spectacular. "This opening ceremony will be seen by three billion people all across the world. It will be shown in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the United States has also shown interest. It will be watched by the whole world," he said.
"The baton will be handed to Prince Charles who will read out the Queen's message and then the President (Pratibha Patil) will address the gathering." Kalmadi, who is also the IOA President, said organising the Commonwealth Games has helped the Indian capital improve as a city by leaps and bounds.
"See the legacy. The city has gone ahead by 10 years. There are bridges, Metro train from Airport to Village, lot of bridges. So many things have happened. Games are only for 15 days but this infrastructure will remain. It will be for whole life. "The challenge is to use it post Games. And it's a challenge worldwide. I am also concerned about the medals. We should get maximum medals, we are playing at home," he said.
First Published: Sep 30, 2010 13:26 IST