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India Needs To Build An Ecosystem To Produce Olympians: Stephanie Rice


02 November 2018

Bikash Das


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Bhubaneswar: India has all the possibilities for its swimmers to excel at the international level. There are great facilities here. It is all about bringing together the whole eco-system involving, good physios, coaches, great sports scientists and mentors, former Olympic Swimming champion Stephanie Rice said.

Speaking at the Ekamra Sports Literature Festival here on Friday, Rice said that there is great potential in India if not in 2020 but in 2024 Olympics. “There needs to better investments in grooming the atheletes from the grassroots and transitioning them properly.”

Rice lauded the efforts of the Odisha Government in supporting festivals like the sports literature event and sporting activities in general. “The authorities here are doing a great job. The sports festival is setting the tone and starting to generate so much interest and excitement and knowledge and opportunity among all. The Government's support to such events is essential and very encouraging.”

Speaking about the popularity of 20-20s in cricket, former Australian cricketer Jeff Thompson said too much of cricket in the shorter format of the game is a matter concern for all cricket-lovers across the world. “Fans have less time to invest in watching sports. It is one of the main reasons that ODIs and 20-20s are taking over and Test cricket is losing popularity.”

About the steady globalisation of cricket, Jeff said, that football is a shorter game it lasts for one and a half hours. "And one does not have to be rich to play football, he or she just needs a pair of boots. With cricket the scenario and investment is bigger and so does the duration of cricket matches as compared to football."

Speaking on the occasion, senior sports journalist and author, Sundeep Misra said that Ekamra Sports Literature Festival is an unique amalgamation of sportstars and Litteratuers. “The event was conceptualised over a short discussion at a cafe and over eight months of brainstorming Ekamra Sports Literature festival is a reality. The event will witness at least 15 very insightful sessions. I am confident that the event becomes an annual event in Odisha,” he added.

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Stepahnie Rice, Former Olympic Gold Medalist, Swimming

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Jeff Thomson, Former Australian Cricketer

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Sundeep Misra, Senior Sports Journalist and Author