The city of Mumbai on Saturday was announced as the host of the 2023 International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) session after successfully bidding for it in the 139th IOC session being held in Beijing alongside the ongoing Winter Olympics. This will be the second time India will host an IOC session after hosting it in New Delhi, 1983.
Leading the Indian presentation in Beijing were Abhinav Bindra, the country’s first individual Olympics gold medallist in 2008, IOC Member Nita Ambani, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra and Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
Mumbai received 99 per cent of the votes from the delegates participating in the process, with 75 members endorsing its candidature to host the IOC session in 2023.
“I thank Mrs Nita Ambani for her vision and leadership and also thank all my IOC Member colleagues for their support, I cannot wait to see you here in Mumbai next year. This is the start of a new era for India sport — an era that features the long-term goal of hosting the Olympic Games in India. We are ambitious and recognise our objectives are bold,” said Batra.
The session, to be held in the summer of 2023, will be hosted at the Jio World Convention Centre (JWC) in Bandra Kurla Complex at Mumbai. The JWC will start operations in early 2022.
“But India is on an exciting journey and we want the Olympic Movement to play a central part in building a brighter future for our next generation. Delivering a truly memorable IOC Session in Mumbai in 2023, with a strong emphasis on youth potential, sustainability, and innovation, will be one of the first steps to showcase India’s new sporting capacity,” added Batra.
An IOC session is the annual meeting of the members of the IOC, comprising 101 voting members and 45 honorary members. It discusses and decides on the key activities of the global Olympics movement including adoption or amendment of the Olympic Charter, election of IOC members and office bearers and election of the host city of Olympics.
“The Olympic Movement is back to India after a 40-year wait! I am truly grateful to the International Olympic Committee for entrusting India with the honour of hosting the IOC Session in Mumbai in 2023. This will be a significant development for India’s Olympic aspiration and will herald the start of a new era for Indian sport,” said Nita Ambani.
“Sport has always been a beacon of hope and inspiration for millions around the world,” she added. “We are one of the youngest countries in the world today and I’m excited for the youth of India to embrace and experience first-hand the magic of the Olympics. It is our dream to strengthen this partnership further and host the Olympic Games in India in the years to come!”
In her speech to the IOC delegates in the virtual session, Nita said, “Nearly half of India’s population, over 600 million, are under 25 years of age. This makes India one of the most crucial and exciting places to nurture and grow the Olympic Movement. Inspired by the Olympic Values Education Programme, it is our mission to identify potential talent and guide them to greatness in the world of sport. To coincide with the Olympic Session 2023, we propose to launch a series of elite sports development programmes for youth across deprived communities.”