What a lovely day it was! Every person felt goosebumps and had a feeling of pride in their hearts as all 11 Vertos and medalists from the #TokyoOlympics2020 landed on the magnificent grounds of Lovely Professional University. Heads bowed in honor, and eyes were numb with millions of happy emotions as we revived their victories in the Tokyo Olympics.
The 11 medalist Vertos from the Tokyo Olympics 2020 who wrapped the hearts of a billion Indians with pride and glory were honored at a ceremony graced by Sh. Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer of the NITI Aayog, yesterday at the magnificent grounds of Lovely Professional University. With well-deserved prize money of 1.75 crores, LPU honored the proud Vertos and Olympic achievers, Gold Medalist Neeraj Chopra, Bronze Medalists-Captain Indian Men’s Hockey Squad Manpreet Singh, and nine other sportsmen of the team!
The big day kick-started with a happy greeting to the dignitaries and all the players, with the music of dhol, waving the tricolor flag, tossing propitious flowers on them, and traditional folk dances, Rajasthani, and bhangra, wonderfully displayed on the walk to the stage. After the great start of the grand felicitation ceremony, the event witnessed some of the great moments in the history of LPU.
I’d want to shed some light on the key events that transpired during the honoring ceremony.
- ‘Neeraj Chopra Marg‘ has been established in the LPU campus of exactly 87.58m long, equivalent to his Gold-winning Javelin throw distance. It was proudly inaugurated by the Golden boy today.
- To make the occasion more engaging and joyous, Dr. Saurabh Lakhanpal, Dean- DSW, asked the Golden Boy, Neeraj Chopra, and Manpreet Singh, Captain, Indian Hockey Team, to reenact the momentous moment of their victory in front of everyone.
- The audience was thrilled and ecstatic to witness the live game of Olympic medalists. Wherein two teams were created, Neeraj vs Manpreet, and they played both the sports Javelin and hockey, marking the activity to be the most joyous.
- Dr. Saurabh Lakhanpal, saying “It will be kept in LPU sports museum. As, LPU believes in uplifting holistic development,” requested Neeraj Chopra to sign on a javelin and the hockey players to sign on hockey sticks.
- The cake was cut to celebrate this momentous occasion.
- The magnificent grounds of LPU witnessed a grand procession from Block-13 to Shree Shanti Devi Mittal Auditorium, including students, faculty, all the dignitaries, chief guest, and our eminent guests.
- The felicitation ceremony was done. And cash prizes worth 1.75 crores were awarded to the players.
- Towards the end of the event photo session was done with all the dignitaries, Olympic achievers, Cultural and Community services achievers of LPU of LPU.
Shri. Ashok Mittal, Chancellor, Lovely Professional University, continued the ceremony at the Shanti Devi Mittal Auditorium, where he addressed a galaxy of visitors, students, and faculty members. He expressed himself and said, “Every institution should have a policy focusing on their sports department, and through these players would lobby the Indian PMO to ensure that every university student has the chance to compete in the Olympics. Also, may India host the 2036 Olympics.” Every player, moved by patriotism and pride at the prospect of bringing gold to the country, signed a roll to back our Chancellor’s remarks. Adding further, “We have been planning to send our students to Olympics since 2011. And this time we will target for not just 14 but 28 students in 2024 Olympics,” said the Chancellor. In his last remarks to the Olympians, he expressed his pride in all of the students and congratulated the LPU fraternity as well as the whole nation for this monumental achievement. He ended his lines with the quote “LPU to Paris, 2024,” highlighting the dream of sending more contingents to the Paris Olympics in 2024.
The chief guest, Shri Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer of the NITI Aayog, graced the event with his comments, blessing the achievers and LPU. “These pupils are best players,” he said, adding that “even the biggest superstars in the entertainment business are nothing in front of them.” Sir praised the LPU sports department and the Mittal family for believing in the progress of students and the need to focus on sports. He also thanked the whole LPU family and the players, praising Neeraj’s physiotherapist. In his last comments, Sir remarked the Olympic achievers, “I wish my children aspire to be athletes like these gentlemen rather than IAS officers. And, if we all aspire as high as they do, India will win more medals.”
Other dignitaries blessed the players as the great day progressed, and an award ceremony was conducted in the sports quota part, where the dignitaries, Olympic achievers, and Cultural and Community service achievers of LPU were honored.
Lastly, the day ended with a photo session and singing of the national anthem.