In the build-up to create hype for the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018, which is slated to be held in Bhuvneshwar later this year, the Sports and Youth Services Department launched the official mascot of the event - Olly.
The mascot was unveiled at the Puri sea beach in Odisha on Sunday, where Olly marked his vibrant presence by surprising the onlookers with a skill show unmatched by any other mascot. Olly even indulged in a photo session with the ardent hockey fans present to witness the occasion.
Alongside the promotion of the event, the mascot aims to raise awareness about the conservation of the Olive Ridley turtle, which is said to be on the verge of extinction in the state of Odisiha. From the games perspective, Olly personifies the spirit of sportsmanship and encourages the participants to play the sport with complete fairness and in the right spirit.
The 2018 Hockey World Cup, is scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 16. It is considered to be one of grandest events in the state with reports suggesting that A.R. Rahman will be performing on the opening day of the event.
The World Cup will be an 18-day mega event, which will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhuvneshwar, with as many as 16 countries participating. Australia are the most successful team in the World Cup in recent years, with their latest triumph coming in the 2014 edition against Germany.
As far as India is concerned, they won the title only on one only occasion, with their maiden triumph coming in 1975. Though, the India's men's hockey will be no slouches coming into the tournament, if recent performances are anything to suggest.
In a perfect preparation for the 2018 World Cup, India will gearing up for their title defence at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy which is slated to get underway from October 18. They will rub shoulders with some of Asia's finest like Pakistan, Malaysia and Korea and Asian Games gold medallists Japan.
Marking the hockey team’s first major tournament since Sardar Singh decided to call time on his international playing career, Manpreet Singh will be leading the side, while Chinglensana Singh will shoulder the vice captain duties.