“India will leave no stone unturned” in 2036 Olympic bid, Prime Minister Modi says

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi Saturday underlined his nation’s commitment to host the 2036 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach (left) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the opening of the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India October 14, 2023 (Photo: IOC/Greg Martin)
IOC President Thomas Bach (left) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the opening of the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India October 14, 2023 (Photo: IOC/Greg Martin)

In front of a majority of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members, global sport powerbrokers and other major stakeholders gathered in Mumbai, India to open the IOC’s 141st Session, Modi made a passionate promise to do everything in his power secure the Games.

“India will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to organize the Olympics in India in 2036,” Modi said.

He added that hosting the Olympics is an “age old dream” of India.

“We want to realize this dream with your collaboration and support. I am confident that India will get the support of the IOC.

“Sports is not the medium of winning medals, but it is a medium to win people’s hearts.”

The prime minister also expressed his interest in hosting the next available Youth Olympic Games that is scheduled for 2030.

The IOC has already awarded the 2028 Olympics to Los Angeles and 2032 to Brisbane, Australia making 2036 the next available edition to host.

No host city has officially been chosen but Ahmedabad with a population of over 8 million has already been preparing and officials have hired top consultants to design a masterplan for the event. The plan includes the existing 132,000 seat Modi Stadium, the largest in the world, named after the prime minister.

There is no set timetable for the 2036 Olympic bid, but any election is expected after IOC President Thomas Bach ends his final term in 2025. Already as many as 10 other regions have expressed similar interest including South Korea, Poland, Indonesia, Germany, Qatar, Hungary, Turkey, Mexico, Egypt and U.K.

India’s interest in hosting was likely buoyed this week with the proposal that cricket be staged at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics. IOC members are likely to approve the addition at this week’s Session, bringing the most popular sport in the world’s most populous nation back to the Olympics for the first time since 1900. That will raise the profile of the Olympics in India and boost broadcast and sponsorship revenue for the IOC.

With Brisbane also likely to include cricket to fill its iconic Gabba Stadium that’s set for a multi-billion dollar renovation, India – if elected – could stage the event for the third consecutive time.

Bach has spoken in support of India’s potential bid on multiple occasions since he visited the nation in 2018 and said at the time it was “too early” for a bid.

Earlier this week in Mumbai Bach didn’t see any barriers, instead suggesting that the disastrous Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games would no longer cast a cloud over a future bid.

But Bach urged the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to work to build trust. The IOA has been implicated for governance issues twice in the past decade. This week’s Mumbai Session was previously scheduled to be held last May but had to be postponed after the IOC threatened to ban the IOA  for deficiencies.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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