This Article is From Aug 18, 2021

"Wanted To Honour Hockey": PM Modi On Renaming Khel Ratna Award

PM Modi said this during an interaction with the Indian Olympics contingent at his official residence on Monday.

'Wanted To Honour Hockey': PM Modi On Renaming Khel Ratna Award

PM Modi had spoken to the men's hockey team captain after the side lost in the semi-final. (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he wanted to honour the game of hockey when he decided to rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

The Indian Tokyo Olympics contingent had visited the PM's official residence on Monday. While interacting with the men's hockey team, PM Modi said, "I congratulate everyone in the team for the win. You have paid the biggest homage to Major Dhyan Chand. And after getting inspired by you, I made the decision because I wanted to honour hockey."

"You have done wonders. Until India wins a medal in hockey we don't get the feeling the country has won something in Olympics," he added.

PM Modi had spoken to men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh after the side lost the semi-final clash against Belgium in the Tokyo Olympics.

India star goalkeeper PR Sreejesh said the PM's call acted as a big motivation for the side before the bronze medal match.

"Sir, thank you for talking to us after our semi-final defeat. When we win everyone praises us, but you called us after our defeat and that was a big motivation for us," Mr Sreejesh told PM Modi.

The Indian men's and women's hockey teams put up inspiring performances at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics.

While the men's side ended a 41-year wait for an Olympic medal by winning the Bronze Medal, the women's hockey team fought hard against the best teams in the world and earned their best-ever finish (fourth place) at the Olympic Games.

"More than the medal, parents' belief in sports will rise. Earlier, parents used to push their child towards studies, but now things will change. After this Olympics, parents will help their child excel in sports if his/her interest lies there," PM Modi told the women's hockey team.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government, which became the official partner of the Indian men's and women's hockey teams in 2018, has extended its partnership with the national teams for 10 more years.

The announcement was made on Tuesday during the state felicitation program organised for the two teams in Bhubaneswar after their historic performance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.