As the Tokyo Olympics concluded on Sunday, India’s Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu hailed the country’s Olympic contingent in the upper house on Monday. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Naidu stated that India first participated in the Paris Olympics in 1900 as a British colony. He further added that India’s voice is finding increasing traction in the world.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu’s tribute to the Indian Olympic contingent

Naidu remarked that the Olympic spirit is more about the spirit of participation than winning medals. However, he acknowledged that the number of medals does matter for India and other countries. He stated that Olympic medals do add to the global perception of the emerging economies with the level of sports being an important element of soft power.

“The medals come as the final testimony for the sporting prowess of any nation,” said Venkaiah Naidu

Naidu also recollected and spoke about India’s maiden gold medal victory at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 through Abhinav Bindra in the 10m air rifle. The Rajya Sabha Chairman also remarked how the country used to struggle initially at the Olympics. However, he added that the Tokyo Olympics turned out to be the best for India as it garnered the highest ever number of medals.

#TokyoOlympics turned out to be best for our nation, not only in terms of highest ever no. of medals won,but also in terms of grit demonstrated as was evident in quite a few close finishes&many of our athletes entering medal winning rounds: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu — ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2021

Naidu asserted that the Tokyo Olympics heralded resurgence, renaissance, and national awakening in sports in India by restoring depleting confidence and self-esteem. Naidu remarked on India’s participation in the quarter-finals by 55 members out of the 120-member contingent.

“For the first time, five of our athletes fought for gold and over 40 made it to the semi-finals,” said Venkaiah Naidu

Venkaiah Naidu hails Neeraj Chopra and Bajrang Punia

Speaking on Neeraj Chopra’s gold-winning ace performance, the Vice-President remarked that the javelin thrower made India proud with his ‘Golden Javelin throw.’ He added that Chopra’s domination on the field made Indians rejoice as his performance brought down the curtains on ‘decades of despair.’

Neeraj Chopra did our nation proud with his Golden Javelin throw. The way he dominated the field right from the word go, never seen before, made our people rejoice as it was a statement of ‘we too can do it’: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu — ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2021

In addition, he also hailed Bajrang Punia for winning the Bronze at the Tokyo Olympics despite suffering a knee injury. The Vice-President has termed Punia’s feat as a ‘rare occurrence.’ Moreover, the RS Chairman also hailed the spectacular performance by the men’s and women’s hockey teams.

“Men’s team entered the semi-finals after 49 long years and fought valiantly to win a medal after 41 years. The women Bravehearts having made the Olympics debut in 1980, made it to the semi-finals after 41 years and only in their third appearance,” added Naidu

The Vice-President hailed Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Kumar Dhaiya, Mirabai Chanu, Lovlina Borgohain, and Bajrang Punia for winning medals in their maiden Olympics. In addition, he also hailed PV Sindhu for emerging as the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. Naidu commended the massive feat by women athletes at the Tokyo and previous Olympic games.

“Our women sportspersons are scripting history and this goes very well for our medal-hungry nation,” he stated

Further, he hailed Indian Olympian and Rajya Sabha member Mary Kom for her participation at the Olympics, and for being the first serving Member of Parliament for representing India. “This August House is proud of the achievement of Sri Mary Kom,” said Naidu. He also informed that 40% of the Tokyo Contingent comes from Haryana and Punjab.

“These two states deserve appreciation for putting in place the right ecosystem of sports,” added Naidu

The Rajya Sabha Chairman concluded his address by stating that the Government of India appreciates the Tokyo Olympic contingent and the Indian medal winners.