On 23rd April, Salman Khan met with N. Ramachandran, President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Rajeev Mehta, General Secretary, IOA ahead of a press conference and shared a few ideas on how social media could be used to focus on getting the spotlight on every sportsperson in the Indian Olympic contingent so they become household names and have the entire nation cheering for them at the world’s greatest sporting event. He then proceeded to meet with MC Mary Kom, Olympic medalist boxer; Sardar Singh, captain of the Indian men’s hockey team; Ritu Rani, captain of the Indian women’s hockey team; Apurvi Chandela, Indian Shooter and Manika Batra, Indian Table Tennis player.
A week later, as Goodwill Ambassador, Salman Khan began a campaign to showcase the Indian contingent for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to his 50 mn strong fan base. An ardent admirer of the talent, perspiration and dedication it takes to be a sportsperson, Salman Khan is putting the spotlight on every sportsperson of the Olympic contingent.
By highlighting the achievements of the sportspersons and energising fans to cheer for them, Salman believes each participant at the Games will be motivated to do their best. A hashtag has been created for the campaign #MakeIndiaProud. The campaign is fittingly called INDIA’S OLYMPIC STARS because Salman believes anyone who qualifies for the Olympics is a true star.
So far, Salman has shared the profiles of the first gymnast to qualify from India for the Olympics in 52 years – Dipa Karmakar; World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle – Abhinav Bindra; Sandeep Kumar, the National 50 km race walk record holder and will share many more in the upcoming days. Salman is also planning a blog that will provide updates on the Indian qualifiers, their achievements and details about India at the Rio Olympics.
Salman Khan said “For me each and every sportsperson in the Indian Olympic contingent is a superstar. They prepare for four years and have a few minutes, sometimes a few seconds to perform on the world’s biggest stage. Let’s give them all our love and support and cheer for them. They deserve a billion cheers.”
This year the Indian Olympic contingent will have over 80 representatives, who will represent the country in Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Field Hockey, Gymnastics, Rowing, Shooting, Table Tennis, Tennis and Wrestling. Salman in his efforts as sports aficionado and Olympics Goodwill Ambassador will be promoting each category all through the countdown to the Rio Olympics.