Chennai: Tamil Nadu chief minister, M.K. Stalin has announced a cash prize of Rs 3 crore for those athletes who wins gold in the Tokyo Olympics which is starting from July 23.
The chief minister made the announcement at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday while addressing athletes and sportspersons at a special Covid vaccination camp held for them.
The silver medal winners will be provided Rs 2 crore as cash prize and the bronze medal winners Rs 1 crore, he said.
Nethra Kumanan, Varun Thakkar and K.C. Ganapathy (sailing), G. Sathian and A. Sharath Kamal (table tennis), C.A. Bhavani Devi (fencing) and Paralympian T. Mariappan have qualified for the Olympics from Tamil Nadu.
Stalin reminiscenced his days as a sportsperson in his younger days and said that sports is a major connector and said that iconic athletes like Sachin Tendulkar, Karnam Malleswari, M.S. Dhoni, P.T. Usha and Milkha Singh will always be an inspiration to the generations of youngsters of the nation.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister said that the DMK in its election manifesto had promised that an Olympic Academy will be established in four zones of the state and added that the promise made in the election manifesto would be fulfilled.
He said that a world-class gym and a state of the art facility to scientifically aid sportspersons will be set up immediately and that his government was committed to promote and support sports and sportspersons.
Stalin said, “If a Dhoni hit a sixer or a Ronaldo scores a goal, the audience in the stadium and those watching on television feel it as a personal achievement.” He further said, “A sportsperson can inspire a generation and you all should keep that in mind and be assured that the Tamil Nadu government will support you in your welfare and well-being”.
The chief minister also said, “Life is a game, it is said, and there are several people in this country who treat politics also as a game but sports should be taken seriously and sportspersons are an inspiration for generations to come and you should keep that in mind always.”
Stalin said that fencing star Bhavani Devi who became the first athlete from Tamil Nadu to qualify in the Olympics was already given a cash incentive of Rs 5 lakh and the other five athletes would also be given the cash soon. He said that as a sports enthusiast he and his government would always stand for the sportspersons of the state in the days to come.
The vaccination camp was organized by the Department of Youth Welfare and Sports, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, Health Development and Tamil Nadu Olympic Association.