CM Naveen Patnaik Welcomes All To Odisha For Hockey WC; Thanks PM Modi & Centre For Support

Cuttack: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government for the support in organising the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in Odisha.

Addressing a huge gathering at the historic Barabati Stadium in the millennium city of Cuttack, the Chief Minister greeted international hockey teams, dignitaries and guests at the opening ceremony of the grand sporting event.

“Odisha is known for its hospitality. I am sure all the visitors will take a little part of Odisha home, with them,” said Naveen.

The mega international quadrennial sporting event is being hosted by Odisha for the second time in a row.

The Chief Minister concluded in his own style saying, “Hockey World Cup is being organised in Odisha. The inauguration is organised in Cuttack – ‘Apana Maane Khusi Ta, Mun Bi Bohot Khusi’ (Are you all happy? I am very happy).”

The star-studded opening ceremony was attended among others by Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur and Odisha’s Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera.

Describing the Prime Minister as a great sports lover, Thakur said the Union government has been doing its best to promote sports in the country under Modi’s leadership.

Hailing Odisha’s efforts to promote hockey, Thakur said Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 will be an excellent tournament. “I am sure the games and performances will be exciting. People of Odisha will make it more vibrant and colourful,” he added.

FIH President Tayyab Ikram said world hockey owes a lot to Odisha, which happens to be the land of hockey. Top athletes will perform at world’s best stadiums in the marquee event, he said

A precursor to the Hockey World Cup, which Odisha is hosting for the second consecutive time from January 13-29, the opening ceremony in Cuttack showcased Odisha’s culture and heritage through performances and technology.

The glittering opening ceremony featured live performances by Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh, Disha Patani and music composer Pritam, who has composed HWC 2023 anthem, along with Blackswan, the famous K-Pop band featuring Odisha’s Shreya Lenka. Ollywood’s power couple Sabyasachi Mishra and Archita Sahu also featured in the grand show along with the famous Prince Dance Group.

The inaugural ceremony titled ‘Celebrating the Spirit of Hockey’ showcased Odisha’s culture– especially ‘Jagannathastakam’ choreographed by Odissi exponent Aruna Mohanty.

Around 35,000 people, including players and officials from 16 countries, attended the opening ceremony. Along with high-security arrangements, the Commissionerate Police put in traffic regulations for easy movement of sports enthusiasts and people to the stadium.


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