Khelo India Winter Games a big step in making India's presence felt at Winter Olympics: PM Narendra Modi 

The 2nd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games will see a participation of 1200 athletes from 27 states and Union Territories (UTs) 

By Samrat Chakraborty

Winter Olympics has not really been an area where India has excelled in the past, with only a handful of athletes managing to represent the nation in the event over the years.

However, there is a concerted effort to make a mark in the various winter sports recently, as can be seen by the inception of the Khelo India Winter Games.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi feels that the emergence of young athletes at the Khelo India Winter Games is a big step in the right direction.

His remarks came on Friday during the e-opening ceremony of the 2nd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games, which will see a participation of 1200 athletes from 27 states and Union Territories (UTs) besides the armed forces personnel. The five-day event will conclude on March 2.

"This is a step towards making India’s presence felt in the international winter games arena and also make Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports,” Modi said in a virtual address.

“These Games will strengthen the resolve for ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat’. I am told the participation has doubled this year and it is a reflection of the inclination towards winter sports in the country,” he added.

Participants at Khelo India Winter Games (Courtesy: JKSportsCouncil/Twitter)

Touted as a mega-event by the officials, athletes from the Indian Army and the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports will also participate in the event, and the Indian Prime Minister had some encouraging words for them.

“When you show your talent at Khelo India-Winter Games, remember that you are not just a part of a sport, but you are also a brand ambassador of self-reliant India,” he said.

Participants will compete in following events: snowshoe race, ice skating, ice hockey, skiing, Nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering and ice stock.

The event is being organised by the Sports Ministry in collaboration with the J&K Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir and is aimed at engaging the youth in positive and constructive activities.