Star-studded celebration marks beginning of FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack hosted the grand opening with performances by music and bollywood superstars including Ranveer Singh, Disha Patani and Pritam.
The FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, kicked off with a glorious celebration today at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack. It was a breathtaking spectacle featuring a dazzling array of music and performances from some of India's most renowned and sought after celebrities. Among them were Bollywood superstars, Ranveer Singh and Disha Patani.
The event was attended by a large crowd of over 35,0000 enthusiastic fans. The program also included addresses from prominent ministers and dignitaries, including Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik; Shri Anurag Thakur, Honourable Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Minister of Information and Broadcasting, as well as Mr. Mohammad Tayyab Ikram and President of the FIH and Mr Dilip Tirkey, President of Hockey India.
The decorations were grandiose and majestic, with towering flags and banners representing each participating country lining the stadium. The stage stood out with , massive screens, enabled by the technology of Augmented Reality. A mesmerizing visual show ensued; that enthralled fans.
Ollywood's favorite couple Sabyasachi Mishra and Archana Sahu, warmed up fans and viewers as they performed the hook step from the online dance challenge on the theme song for the 2023 World Cup, 'Hockey Hai Dil Mera'. The celebration proceeded with a testament to the culture and traditions of Odisha, a contingent comprising over 20 different troupes, performed a veneration to Lord Jagannath in the local dance form of Odissi. The act was choreographed by Aruna Mohanty, an iconic Odissi dancer, choreographer and guru.
The veneration was followed by an invocation of Mr. Biju Patnaik for his inimitable contribution to the state of Odisha, and the game of Hockey. It lauded him for being a visionary statesman, a transformative leader and the epitome of Odian pride. The invocation was elevated with the use of Augmented Reality for one of the first times in the history of Indian sport.
Mr. Tayyab Ikram, President of the FIH addressed the vibrant crowd and expressed his gratitude towards Hockey India and the state of Odisha for bringing the spotlight on Hockey.
Shortly after, Shri Anurag Thakur, Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Minister of Information and Broadcasting, addressed the gathering, "Every Indian is excited to watch the World Cup." He also paid homage to legends Major Dhyan Chand and Balbir Singh Sr and praised their achievements that have helped foment a strong foundation for Hockey in India. He further commended Hockey India and Odisha for hosting two consecutive World Cups.
The segment was concluded by the Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha. He thanked Hockey India for their efforts in realizing the spectacular event. He also welcomed the attendees from all over the world and thanked them for being a part of the celebration. "I would like to welcome the delegates, fans and athletes from all over the world. Odisha has long been known for its hospitality and I am sure everybody will take home a little part of Odisha.
Pritam performed his composition and the theme song for the Hockey World Cup, "Hockey Hai Dil Mera". Later in the night, Pritam was on stage yet again as he performed alongside music sensations Neeti Mohan, Rituraj Mohanty, Benny Dayal, Shalmali Kholgade and Lisa Mishra, the performance was complete with a drone show, breathtaking fireworks display and a stunning arrangement of led lights against the night sky. Bollywood actress, Disha Patani left fans spellbound after she performed to a medley of super-hit Bollywood songs to the swooning crowd
The final segment of the celebration shared a montage clip titled "100 years of Hockey" which showcased the incredible journey of Indian Hockey since its inception. Bollywood superstar, Ranveer Singh, descended from the sky landing into the stadium with his iconic energy. He closed out the festivities, in style enchanting the audience with his charisma, aptly "Celebrating The Spirit of Hockey".