Lauding the Gujarat government for stepping in to host the National Games, India's badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said that if the state could host such a big event in such a short time it was possible for it to host the Olympics Games too.
"If we can organise an event with 20,000 people so grandly in Gujarat, I am confident that we can host the Olympics too, which assembles only 11,000 people," said the former All-England champion.
Speaking at Gujarat's 'GoForGujarat' initiative to motivate the state's athletes to aim for a Top 5 position in the Games, Gopichand praised the planned large-scale organisation of the National Games.
"I am so happy that after seven years National Games are taking place in Gujarat and would like to congratulate the Central as well as State government for such a massive scale of organisation for the Games," the Dronacharya awardee reckons.
Speaking in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel, Gopichand doffed his hat to the state government and said that it was not an easy task to take up the challenge of organising such a big event. "It is a big challenge and you have not only taken up that challenge but are now organising it on a grand scale. I would like to congratulate each member of the team for this wonderful event."
"Some people may ask why such a huge sports event when so many people are poor but I remember the words of honourable Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) when we met in 2014 after the Commonwealth Games. He said that for any race, community or country to come up, pride is very important and each victory of our sports persons anywhere in the world brings pride to the nation and that is very very important," he revealed.
He said that in the last 8-10 years, through Fit India, Khelo India, and government support, there has been unprecedented development in the field of sports in the country.
Gopichand advised the competing players to focus on diet, fitness and positive attitude, urging them to keep moving towards victory even in defeat.
"Especially in the last 3-4 days before the completion, focus is the key. You must eat well, sleep well and always be positive," he said.