India will have its first-ever Olympic Hospitality House in Tokyo during the Summer Games next year. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and JSW Group on Thursday announced a partnership to build the facility. Many of the Olympic participating countries have their own hospitality houses during the Games but this will be the first time India will be having one to showcase its culture and heritage.
The official India House logo was unveiled by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in the presence of IOA President Narinder Batra and Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.
"The India House at the 2020 Olympics is an amazing concept. We need a team to produce a sports champion. We have to create the right ambience for our athletes at the Olympics. The India House will represent the idea of India at the Tokyo Games," said Rijiju.
Will celebrate the spirit of Olympics and India will be showcased to the world with pride at @Tokyo2020 through INDIA HOUSE. India will have first ever Olympic Hospitality House at the Olympics through the efforts of Indian Olympic Association and @jswsports pic.twitter.com/Gefq7WI5ip— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 10, 2019
Scheduled to be operational from July next year, the India Olympic Hospitality House will be built by JSW on a piece of land of 2,200 square metre area in close proximity to the Games Village and multiple venues in the Ariake region of Tokyo. It will offer a range of activities and experiences for travelling fans and supporters who will be in Tokyo for the Olympics. A staple among developed sporting nations, this will be the first-ever such venue for India at the Olympic Games.
Through this initiative, the IOA and JSW hope to cement India's presence as a significant member of the Olympic Movement. Running through the duration of the Games, the venue will host watch parties, medal celebrations and meet-and-greet opportunities with the Indian athletes. Traditional Indian sports will be displayed and visitors will also get a taste of variety of Indian cuisine.
A dedicated Athlete Lounge for the Indian Olympians to feel at home and access to medical facilities and food will be available on site. A media centre to host travelling Indian media personnel has also been planned in the area. Several Indian and international brands will also have their stalls to display and sell their products. Batra said India House will be a home away from home for Indian athletes and fans at the Tokyo Olympics.
"The India House is a great initiative and we are pleased that JSW has come on board to showcase our culture and heritage at the Olympics through this Hospitality House. Through this, we hope that the Indian athletes and fans can feel at home in a foreign land during the Tokyo Olympics," he said.
Mehta, who was involved in the process of identifying the proposed site for India House, highlighted that the event would be special as it would mark the centenary of India's participation at the Olympic Games. Indian athletes first participated in the Olympic Games in 1920 in Antwerp though India was not an independent country at that time.
"We thought it could be a great initiative to mark 100 years to India's first participation in the Olympic Games. The India House will host special meetings and dignitaries from different federations and Olympic Committees and help India make its presence felt in the Olympic Movement," he said.
JSW Sports Director Parth Jindal added, "I attended my first Olympics in Rio and visited Hospitality Houses of many countries but realised there was not one for India.
"I felt that India has a great opportunity to showcase its culture through an India House at the Olympics and that's where the journey started."