Updated February 1st, 2024 at 19:44 IST

Khelo India Winter Games 2024: Pretty Ladakh all set for date with history

The opening ceremony of KIWG will be held at the NDS Stadium, Leh on Friday. Ice hockey matches and speed skating events will be the highlights of the day

Khelo India Winter Games | Image:KIWG
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The Union Territory of Ladakh, hosting the Khelo India Winter Games for the first time, is all set for a historic and traditional opening ceremony at the Nawang Dorjay Stobdan Stadium in Leh on Friday. The first part of KIWG 2024 will be held here till February 6. The second part of the Games will be held in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir from February 21-25.

“We are really excited and want to prove that we can host ice games at the national level. Leh is known for ice hockey and ice skating and since this is our debut, we want to justify the faith that the Union sports ministry has reposed on us,” said Shri Ravinder Kumar, sports secretary, UT of Ladakh.

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Ladakh will be conducting two Games (disciplines) -- ice hockey and speed skating. Three hundred and forty-four athletes from 15 states and Union Territories and two public institutions will compete over five days across three venues - NDS Sports Stadium, Gupuks pond and Ladakh Scout Regimental Centre (LSRC) rink.

Picturesque Leh has been preparing for the Khelo India Winter Games 2024 for a month now. The mascot of the Games, the snow leopard ‘Sheen-e She’ or Shan, was revealed on Tuesday. Ever since, volunteers are braving the sub-zero temperatures and working overtime to prepare Leh for the Games. 

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It’s been hectic but we are getting a lot of help from local associations, volunteers and the Army. Everyone coming here are our guests. We want athletes to get a pleasant experience and come back here as tourists, too,” said Shri Kumar, adding the venues are fully prepared to host the Games.

Jammu and Kashmir, which hosted the Khelo India Winter Games in its entirety in 2023, won the team championship with 25 gold medals while Maharashtra (11 golds) and Himachal Pradesh (10 golds) finished second and third, respectively. Ladakh (4 gold medals) finished ninth with a total haul of 15 medals. 

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This is a great opportunity for Ladakh’s athletes to showcase their talent in ‘home’ territory. It’s also a great exposure for us to learn how to manage an event of national importance,” said Shri Kumar.

The Games, including the opening ceremony, will be live streamed on multiple platforms of DD Sports.

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 19:44 IST