Bhubaneswar: In celebration of the state achieving readiness in record 90 days for the Asian Athletics Championships (AAC) held in the city in 2017, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched the AAC Coffee Table Book & Documentary at a function at the State Secretariat here.
Consisting of well-curated content and memoirs, the coffee table book and documentary capture the action and emotions of AAC along with the achievements of the state, which has become a shining beacon for sporting development in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said, “Initiatives like these are the cornerstone to propel and make Bhubaneswar and Odisha, a hub for sports in the country. AAC represents the agility, commitment and drive of the people of Odisha. We could have taken this as a challenge or an opportunity. We chose to take it as an opportunity for Odisha to bring glory to India.”
“We are committed to the development of sports and the AAC 2017 was the perfect example as it inspired us to take up the challenge and turn things around in a record 90 days. We are proud about the fact that the Kalinga Stadium is a symbol for world class sporting events, and upcoming events like the Hockey World Cup in 2017 will only reinforce this,” said Vishal Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports and Youth Services.
The Odisha government has followed a focused approach in nurturing sports. This is being done by way of a well-defined two-pronged strategy: nurture, and in turn create global athletes. Secondly, make sports a part of the daily fabric of life, thereby taking it to the grassroots, and in that widening the talent pool. Six disciplines that have been prioritised are Athletics, Archery, Weightlifting and Badminton as individual sports and Hockey and Football as team sports.
Nupur Mahajan, the creator of the AAC Coffee Table Book and Documentary, said, “The AAC 2017 saw ideas come into fruition in a remarkably short window of time. Later, telling the story through the book and the film completed the full circle of a creative journey. As a storyteller, it was a compelling subject how a state and its government through sheer love and commitment made this race against time a success story.”
The 22nd Asian Athletics Championship saw the largest contingent of athletes in the AAC thus far. Over 800 athletes participated in the Bhubaneswar edition in 2017 compared to 550 in the last championship at Wuhan in China in 2015.