Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday announced a purse of Rs three crore to sportspersons from the State, who clinch gold at the Tokyo Olympics. He also announced a cash award of Rs 2 crore for those winning silver and Rs one crore to bronze medallists at the multi-national event next month. "The government is duty-bound to encourage sportspersons who distinguish themselves at global meets. These cash awards will be given on behalf of the government," he said.
Also known as Tokyo 2020, the 2020 Summer Olympics is scheduled from July 23 to August 8, 2021 in Japan after it was postponed to this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking after inaugurating a special Covid vaccination camp for sportspersons at the Nehru stadium here, Staliny said, "Team spirit is very important to win in sports. Success can be achieved while working together as a team."
Sportspersons like M S Dhoni, Sachin Tenduklar, P T Usha and Karnam Malleswari, who shone in their fields, become icons of inspiration to others, he said and urged the participants to strive hard and fetch laurels for Tamil Nadu.
"The State government will always support and encourage sports," he added.
The vaccination camp was held under the aegis of the Department of Youth Welfare and Sports, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, Health Department, and Tamil Nadu Olympic Association.
Ensuring that the Sports Department did not remain for namesake, his government has committed itself to fostering sports and promoting sportspersons, he said.
"Athletes need physical endurance and motivation. We had promised in the DMK election manifesto that Olympic Academy will be established in four zones in Tamil Nadu. Our promises will be fulfilled," Stalin said.
The Chief Minister said sportspersons are the pride of the country and the State government would always support them.
He distributed cash incentive of Rs 5 lakh each to six participating athletes -- Nethra Kumanan, Varun Thakkar and K C Ganapathy, who have qualified for sailing at the upcoming event in July, paddlers G Sathian and A Sarath Kamal and paralympian T Mariappan.
Tamil Nadu's C A Bhavani Devi who became the first- ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic was already provided the incentive of Rs 5 lakh.