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Khelo India University Games 2020 Opening ceremony: All you need to know

The inaugural season of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) got off to a grand start with a glamorous opening ceremony on Saturday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi gracing the occasion, albeit virtually.

The 45-minute ceremony was marked with an entertaining and colourful cultural show. Among the top dignitaries witnessing the show included Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, and Union Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan.

The KIUG had officially began a day earlier on Friday, with competitions in archery, football, basketball, fencing, and volleyball.

This will be the largest ever multi-discipline sports event being conducted for University students at one venue. It is expected that the competition will help unearth sports talent for India.

Speaking through a video link, Modi declared the Games open.

“It is a historic moment for Indian Sports. With the launch of Khelo India University Games India has entered the league of countries where university games are organized at this level. I congratulate the organizers from Odisha who have put together this spectacular event and wish the 3000+ youth athletes from across the country all the best for the Khelo India University Games,”  he said.

“In the coming few days, the goal is to win medals but even more to better your own performance. Your hard work here will take you, your families and your country’s dream ahead. You have torchbearers like Dutee Chand here to inspire you. This is the start of a new sports revolution in India.”

“It is a moment of great pride for us to be hosting the first edition of the Khelo India University Games, here in Odisha, in association with the Government of India and the KIIT University. Khelo India University Games will provide a great platform to showcase sporting talent at the national level,” said Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha.

“I’m sure we will find more Olympians and unearth more talent from the Games. It gives a platform for athletes to showcase their talent at the highest level and also for athletes to interact with one another to share expertise. I’m confident that through initiatives such as the Khelo India Youth Games and the Khelo India University Games, India will have more stars in the future,” Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said.

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