The Independence Day celebration in 2016 was very special at the Olympic Reunion Center in Rio de Janerio for all Indian athletes and fans on the 15th August 2016. In attendance were the Indian contingent that interacted with their fans and many past Olympians such as the Dr. Malav Shroff, 2004 Olympics, and Ms. Nazleen Madraswalla 1980 Olympics etc. It was a fun evening as they celebrated an airing of the National Anthem with the Prime Ministers speech and the athletes signed the reunion center with autographs. It was also where under an #OlympiansForLife campaign by the World Olympians Association our very own Mery Kom was displayed as an #OlympianForLife for contribution to society of India amongst others at the #ReunionCenter #Rio2016ORC.
The event, organised by the Olympians Association of India (OAI) in collaboration with the Government of India and the Indian Olympic Association, welcomed guests at the special reception to commemorate the country’s national day.
General Secretary of the Olympians Association of India and WOA Board member, Malav Shroff, said: “It was great to see lots of interaction between Indians based in Rio and the Olympians present and the spirit of the nation and the spirit of patriotism was evoked. It has been fantastic to have the Indian community gathered in one place to celebrate our country on Independence Day.”
India men’s Olympic hockey captain PR Sreejesh, said:
“It’s a great pleasure for us to be here because we are away from home and away from our country but still we are gathered to celebrate Independence Day among our Indian Olympians in Rio. Especially because we saw the president’s message and the prime minister’s speech so we feel like it is our home.”
“Competing for your country in the Olympic Games is a great achievement and having a place like the Olympians Reunion Centre that recognises that is really amazing and I think we should also do something like this in India that allows us to get together and share our ideas, opinions and experiences on sport in India.”