The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the JSW Group will build an Indian hospitality house in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, it was announced on Thursday.
A staple among developed sporting nations, this will be the first-ever such venue for India at the Olympic Games.
The hospitality house is expected to be operational by July 2020. The facility will be built over an area of 2,200 sq. metres and will be in close proximity to the Games Village and multiple Games venues in the Ariake region of Tokyo.
Running throughout the duration of Tokyo 2020, the facility will host watch parties, medal celebrations and meet-and-greet opportunities with Indian athletes. A dedicated athlete lounge for the Indian contingent and a media centre for the travelling Indian journalists are also been planned at the venue.
Speaking about the initiative, the IOA president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “The India House is a great initiative and we are pleased that JSW has come on board to showcase our culture and heritage at the Olympics through this Hospitality House. Through this, we hope that the Indian athletes and fans can feel at home in a foreign land during the Tokyo Olympics.”
Meanwhile, JSW Sports Director, Parth Jindal outlined the thought behind such an initiative. “I attended my first Olympics in Rio in 2016 and realised that the Olympics is a celebration of not just sport, but a global collaboration,” he said.
“I visited the hospitality houses of many countries but realised that there wasn’t one for India. I felt that India has a great opportunity to showcase their culture through an India House at the Olympics and that’s where the journey started.”
The Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju termed this as an amazing concept and expected the facility to represent the idea of India at the Tokyo Games, “The India House at the 2020 Olympics is an amazing concept. We need a team to produce a sports champion. We have to create the right ambience for our athletes at the Olympics. The India House will represent the idea of India at the Tokyo Games,” he said.