New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) 2008 Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra on Tuesday said having an holistic approach is the key in training Olympic athletes who compete at the highest stage once in every four years.
Bindra was speaking on the occasion of International Olympic Day celebrations where sporting legends and administrators engaged in an impactful webinar discussion on momentum towards post COVID-19 Olympics.
"Olympics are once in 4 years, and athletes have only one shot at glory, and it's important to have a holistic approach, use science, use medicine, use technology and engineering in training and that will make a difference," Bindra said.
Leander Paes, Bindra, Anju Bobby George and former dragflick specialist from the Netherlands Floris Bovelander were joined by Narinder Batra, President, Indian Olympic Association during the discussion.
Vineel R. Krishna, Managing Director, Odisha Mining Corporation Ltd, Addl Ch. Director, Sports & Youth Services and MD Odisha Mining Exploration Ltd, Bhubaneswar, Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel and Chairman of Hockey Ace Foundation, and Elena Norman, CEO, Hockey India were also present.
The webinar organised by Department of Sports and Youth Services, Odisha in association with Naval Tata Hockey Academy and hosted by former cricketer Deep Dasgupta, saw conversations that laid emphasis on providing greater assistance and support for elite athletes to return to high-intensity training.
Underlining the importance of tapping talent in the rural belt, seven time Olympian and multiple grand slam winner Paes said: "Most of India's talent is untouched, and it is great that Odisha has set an example of creating excellence at grass root level.
"This is very important. More global events are coming to Odisha and while the state has done fabulously in hosting the Men's World Cup in 2018 among other events, the programs rolled out to develop grass root sports in association with corporates is commendable. I always believe when great minds come together, great results can be achieved."
Highlighting India's resurgence in hockey, Bovelander said: "What Hockey India has done with the sport in India over the last ten years is immense and it has got people back in the sport. Batra started Hockey India League and that was a major effort that created popularity. You need to create heroes in the sport to inspire the youth and I feel Indian hockey is on the right path."
IOA chief Batra said that the next one year will be critical and the focus will be on elite athletes.
"The next one year is going to be critical and the focus will be on elite athletes. While we have 78 athletes who have already qualified, I am confident the numbers will go up to about 125 athletes once international competitions and qualifying meets resume around the globe. The preparations will be a joint effort by the Government of India, IOA, NSFs and I feel this is a situation where best needs to be taken out of the worst.
"Few sports like hockey, weight-lifting and athletics have already started and shooting too will begin sometime in mid July. I am in touch with all the NSFs, as well as some athletes and I am optimistic we are on track for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021," he added.