More than 2,000 students and youths met at the historic Ridge to join Olympians and Arjuna awardees including Shiva Thapa, Manoj Kumar, Sumit Sangwan and Dharmendra Singh Yadav to launch the special state Olympic torch run Saturday, ahead of the four -day state Olympics beginning on June 22 at Hamirpur .
Led by three -time MP and Himachal Pradesh Olympics Association (HPOA) president Anurag Thakur, the torch run is expected to attract participation of 50,000 students and youths. Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat handed over the torch to the Olympians. It was also received by BJP party in-charge Mangal Pandey at Kandaghat in Solan district. The torch will cover Solan, Ponta Sahib, Una, Nurpur, Kangra, Joginder Nagar, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and conclude in Hamirpur.
In a first, Anurag Thakur said, the state Olympics will witness 11 games including hockey, athletics, boxing, basketball, judo, kabaddi, volleyball, wrestling, kho-kho, weightlifting and shooting. “Today, we begin a new journey towards igniting the flame for India’s next Olympians. Himachal Pradesh is small, but today we have taken a giant leap towards India’s Olympic dreams. This state is known as Veer Bhoomi and with the HP Olympic games, it will cement its mark as “Khel Bhoomi”. Himachal’s youths are unstoppable, from the border to the pitch (border se khel ke maidan tak, koi nahi rok sakta Himachal ke Yuva ko),” said Thakur.
BJP MP Anurag Thakur with Governor Acharya Devvrat during the launch of state Olympic games in Shimla Saturday. Pradeep Kumar