India looks to pitch yoga for inclusion in 2036 Olympics – report

India looks to pitch yoga for inclusion in 2036 Olympics – report

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Yoga is among six sports India is looking to pitch for inclusion in the Olympics in an attempt to raise the popularity of the exercise form.

A committee under India’s sports ministry is looking to recommend yoga, kabaddi, kho kho, chess, squash and T20 cricket for inclusion in the Games as the South Asian nation works to strengthen its bid to host the 2036 Games, reported The Indian Express.

Discussions for the introduction of yoga began in December last year, two months after prime minister Narendra Modi expressed interest in hosting the Games, the report said.

The International Olympic Committee rules allow the organising committee to propose for the inclusion of one or more new sports in a particular edition. These sports are proposed based on their popularity in that specific region.

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, for instance, included five new sports for its edition of the Summer Games – surfing, karate, sports climbing, skateboarding, and baseball/softball, according to the Olympics website.

People perform yoga exercises during International Day of Yoga in Kolkata, India 21 June 2024
People perform yoga exercises during International Day of Yoga in Kolkata, India 21 June 2024 (EPA)
People perform yoga during the International Yoga Day at Kalinga Stadium in India on 21 June 2024
People perform yoga during the International Yoga Day at Kalinga Stadium in India on 21 June 2024 (REUTERS)

Breaking, an urban dance style with roots in hip-hop culture, first featured at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018. And following its outstanding success, it was added to the Paris 2024 Olympics programme.

Flag football, which started out as a means of recreation for American soldiers during World War 2, is also going to make its debut in Los Angeles 2028.

While election of the host nation for the 2036 Games is expected to take place after 2025, Brisbane would be hosting the Games in 2032.

Mr Modi, who in 2014 petitioned the UN to adopt Yoga Day as an international affair, made the bid to host the games in October last year.

“India will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to organize the Olympics in India in 2036. This is an age-old dream of [1.4 billion] Indians, it is their aspiration,” Mr Modi said while speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Olympic Committee session in Mumbai.

“We want to realize this dream with your collaboration and support… I am confident that India will get the support of the IOC.”

Mr Modi on Friday led a celebration of International Yoga Day in Jammu and Kashmir. The UN in 2014 declared 21 June the International Day of Yoga, adopting a measure proposed by Mr Modi to recognise the benefits of the exercise form.

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