India wants the Games and wants them big
Anything but a scoop: India wants the Olympics. She wants them as soon as the next opportunity arises, the summer edition in 2036. And she wants them big.
The project is not new. The Indian Olympic Committee (IOA) has already raised the idea of a bid several times. The authorities often followed suit. But the case now seems to be gaining momentum. Its contours are more precise.
Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur now speaks of it as a virtual certainty. He explained it to Times of Indiain an interview published on Tuesday, December 27: “We all know that slots are reserved until 2032. But from 2036 we have high hopes. I am sure that India will fully prepare a bid for the Olympics.”
The date is given. And, with it, the framework of the project. Still according to Anurag Thakur, the candidacy would revolve around a city rarely mentioned for an Olympic file: Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat, in the north-west of the country. India’s sixth metropolis by population, it now has more than six million inhabitants. Its airport ranks seventh nationally for the number of passengers.
Why this choice ? The reason has a long name: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave. This vast multisport complex, whose construction has already begun, promises to be a unique achievement in the country. An Olympic park in XL size, with a hotel, shops and a residential area.
The project is already a reality. Its future does not depend on a possible attribution to India of the Summer Games in 2036. But its configuration could evolve in the event that the IOC chooses to entrust the organization of the event to the second most populous country. of the earth.
Anurag Thakur explained it this week: the Indian government will support an Olympic candidacy wholeheartedly. The project will be supported by the National Olympic Committee. It looks massive. “I can assure you that we will not only host the Olympics, we will host them in a big wayannounces the Minister of Sports, without fear of going against the current of the trend towards a certain minimalism, at least on the surface. If India today is talked about in all sectors, from manufacturing to services, why not in sports? This is why we are very seriously considering applying for the 2036 Olympics..”
For the project leaders, the rest seems already written. Indian media report that Gujarat authorities are reportedly working on upcoming talks with the IOC to identify venues and equipment needed to host the Summer Games. The phase called “dialogue“, to begin next year, thirteen years before the event.
Another step underlined with a thick line: the next session of the IOC, scheduled for September or October 2023 in Mumbai. India will take advantage of the opportunity to welcome the entire Olympic body to present its ambition, its project and its roadmap.
Can India win? It is difficult to decide as the answer is linked to the personality of the next IOC President. Thomas Bach must return the keys to his office in 2025, after a double mandate of twelve years. At this stage, the identity of his successor remains difficult to guess, the applicants having not yet seen fit to make themselves known.
But the next president could be tempted, and the IOC with him, to turn to less usual destinations, after a France-United States-Australia trilogy that looks like deja vu. In such a scenario, India or Indonesia, or even Mexico, would have every chance.