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International Olympic Committee Session in Mumbai on October 15-17: All You Need to Know – News18


The IOC session will be hosted at the state-of-the-art Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. (Getty Images)

The IOC session is returning to India after a gap of 40 years. An Indian delegation led by Nita Ambani made a compelling pitch at the Beijing session in February 2022, following which Mumbai received overwhelming endorsement for its bid with 99% of the votes in favour

India will make a massive leap forward in its journey as an Olympic nation when Mumbai hosts the 141st session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from October 15 to 17, 2023. The IOC session is returning to India after a gap of 40 years. New Delhi had hosted the 86th edition of the IOC session in 1983.

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN IOC SESSION?

The IOC session is the supreme decision-making body of the Olympic movement. It discusses and decides on the key activities of the global Olympics movement, including adoption or amendment of the Olympic Charter, election of IOC members and office-bearers and election of the host city of Olympics. For example, if cricket has indeed made the cut for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028, the formal announcement will be made at the Mumbai session.

HOW DID INDIA WIN THE HOSTING RIGHTS AFTER NEARLY FOUR DECADES?

An Indian delegation led by Nita Ambani, the first Indian woman to be elected as an IOC member, made a compelling pitch at the 139th IOC session in Beijing in February 2022. Mumbai received overwhelming endorsement for its bid with 99% of the votes in its favour from the delegates participating in the process. The Indian delegation also included Abhinav Bindra, the first Indian to win an individual medal at the Olympics.

Nita Ambani, who has championed the advancement of youth sports in India as the Chairperson of Reliance Foundation whose sporting initiatives have reached 2.15 crore youngsters across the country, described the successful bid as a “significant development” for India’s Olympic aspirations.

“The Olympic Movement is back to India after a 40-year wait! I am truly grateful to the International Olympic Committee for entrusting India with the honour of hosting the IOC Session in Mumbai in 2023,” she had said once Mumbai’s winning bid was confirmed. “This will be a significant development for India’s Olympic aspiration and will herald the start of a new era for Indian sport.”

WHO WILL BE PART OF THE SESSION?

The IOC session currently has 99 voting and 43 honorary members. More than 600 members of the sporting world’s elite are expected to be in Mumbai, as well as global media from about 100 nations, representing over 50 sports.

HOW CAN THE SESSION BE A GAME-CHANGER?

The session will be a landmark moment for Indian sport and will firmly establish India on the global sporting map, opening up multiple opportunities in organising sporting events, world-class training infrastructure, nurturing talent and enriching the lives of millions of Indian sportspeople. It will also be a significant stepping-stone towards India’s aspirations of hosting the Youth Olympics and the Olympic Games in the future, an ambition Nita Ambani dwelled on once Mumbai’s winning bid was confirmed.

“Sport has always been a beacon of hope and inspiration for millions around the world,” she said. “We are one of the youngest countries in the world today and I’m excited for the youth of India to embrace and experience first-hand the magic of the Olympics. It is our dream to strengthen this partnership further and host the Olympic Games in India in the years to come!”

In fact, in a recent interview with CNBC TV-18, IOC President Thomas Bach gave India’s ambitions of hosting an Olympic Games his ringing endorsement when asked if the subject will come up for discussion at the IOC session in Mumbai.

“That’s up to India. Here, our doors and hearts are wide open,” Bach said. “India can play a much more important role in the Olympic movement and for the Olympic movement to have such a growth potential as with India. It’s of course very welcome.”

WHERE WILL THE SESSION BE HELD?

The session will be hosted at the state-of-the-art Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. Situated in the heart of the city at Bandra Kurla Complex, the JWC is the largest convention centre in India and started operations in early 2022. The grand theatre at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) will host the Opening ceremony while the exhibition hall (pavilion) will be the venue for the session meeting.

SO, IN CONCLUSION…

This prestigious meeting is set to be the start of a new era of engagement between the country’s youthful population and the Olympic movement. Having won seven medals at the last Olympics in Tokyo, the highest haul ever, including a first ever individual Gold medal in Track & Field, and returning from the recently concluded Asian Games with the highest medal tally ever, India is at the cusp of emerging as a sporting powerhouse.

The IOC session will open the doors for international partners to connect with over a billion passionate Indian sports fans at both grassroots and elite levels.

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