Australia has a multi sports culture-Abhinav Bindra
Tourism Australia announced their tourism programs for the Commonwealth Games 2018 to be held at Gold Coast. Olympic and Commonwealth Gold medalist was present at the function held at the Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba. Abhinav Bindra was the youngest Indian shooter at 15 to participate at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and then at 17 at the Sydney Olympics.
Abhinav Bindra said that he came 10th at the Sydney Olympics, but that gave him the belief that he could compete at the big stage. Later he went on to win the first individual gold medal for India at the Bejing Olypmics. Bindra said that for almost all his professional life he shot to empty stands abroad as not many Indian supporters travel to cheer their players at various games. He added that the trend in changing as he saw at the Rio Games where he missed the bronze by a whisker.
Interacting with journalist and writer Boria Muzumdar, Bindra said that Indian athletes need more support from their people and not just the government or association. He said that just because sports persons are intrinsically motivated, they invest 15-20 years of their life to a particular sport. The people should be there to cheer them at important moments, which will bring out the best in any athlete. Bindra added that seeing the tri-colour from the podium is the most special moment for any athlete. Bindra was the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at both Beijing and Rio Olympics. He also added that proper travel arrangement, infrastructure and ease of moving to the shooting arena make it easier for the athlete to concentrate on his or her art and perform better. Though he confessed that while travelling abroad for tournaments he ended up going to the shooting arena, hotel and the airport without doing much of site seeing. He encouraged more Indian athletes to excel in Australia, with an aim to bring back numerous medals in all categories.
Adding to this thought, MD Tourism Australia John O’Sullivan said that the commonwealth games at Gold coast are a perfect opportunity for Indian travelers to visit Australia and support their athletes. India is currently ranked 8th largest inbound market for Australia and the interest in cricket as well as the commonwealth games is expected to encourage more Indians to travel down under.
CEO Tourism Queensland, Leanne Coddington said that Qeensland, Gold Coast was ready for the games eight months ahead and expect more Indians to travel with the contingent.
As compared to 15000 Americans travelling to support their 1000 strong contingent at the London Olympics, only around 200 Indians travelled at those games. Though the number went up to 1000 plus at Rio, more is expected from the Indian travelers at these big games.