New Delhi [India], December 2 (ANI): Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia, Olympian Anju Bobby George and former hockey captain Viren Rasquinha were among the athletes included in the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) on Thursday.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said it has doubled the number of former athletes as core members of the revamped MOC to make it even more athlete-centric than it has been so far.
"MOC drives India's Olympics Preparation through Target Olympics Podium (TOPS) initiative of the Ministry. This has been done to accelerate India's progress on the global sports stage," an official statement read.
Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said the decision was driven by the experience gained in the last Olympic cycle.
"The inputs by former athletes in the incumbent MOC played a significant role in supporting the training and competition of the athletes who competed in Tokyo 2020 and won seven medals and 19 in Para Olympic Games," Anurag Thakur said.
The new MOC will now include former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, World Athletics Championships Long Jump medallist Anju Bobby George, former India hockey captain Sardara Singh, rifle shooting legend Anjali Bhagwat, former hockey captain and CEO Olympic Gold Quest Viren Rasquinha table tennis star Monalisa Mehta and badminton ace Trupti Murgunde.
Olympian sailor and sports science specialist Dr. Malav Shroff will continue to be in the MOC. President Athletics Federation of India Shri Adile Sumeriwala, President Athletic Federation of India and CEO TOPS Cmde Pushpendra Garg are other former players in the MOC.
Arjun Munda, Cabinet Minister, Ajay Singh and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by virtue of President of Archery Association of India, Boxing Federation of India and Wrestling Federation of India will be part of the MOC.
Mission Olympic Cell: Baichung Bhutia, Anju Bobby George, Anjali Bhagwat, Trupti Murgunde, Sardara Singh, Viren Rasquinha, Malav Shroff, Monalisa Mehta, Presidents of Indian Olympic Association, Wrestling Federation of India, Archery Association of India and Boxing Federation of India, Executive Director (TEAMS), SAI; Director (Sports), MYAS; CEO, TOPS (Convenor) and Joint CEO, TOPS (Co-convenor). (ANI)