Ambassador could have been from sporting arena: Milkha Singh

Indian Express Sports

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By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: April 24, 2016 5:33 pm
salman khan, salman khan olympics, yogeshwar dutt, salman, salman khan rio olympics, salman khan ambassador, yogeshwar, milkha singh, milkha, sports news, sports Salman Khan with India hockey captain Sardar Singh at the event where he was announced as the goodwill ambassador for Rio. (Source: AP)

Upset with the appointment of Salman Khan as the goodwill ambassador of India’s Olympic contingent, legendary sprinter Milkha Singh said it would have been better to pick a sportsperson in his place.

The ‘Flying Sikh’ also demanded that the unprecedented appointment in the run-up to the quadrennial extravaganza should be “revised”.

But he made it clear that he had nothing personal against Salman.

“I am of the view that our sportspersons; be those from shooting, athletics, volleyball or other sports, they are the real ambassadors of India who would represent the country in the Olympics. Still, if we had to pick an ambassador, it could have been from the sporting arena,” the 85-year-old legend told PTI in New Delhi.

“India has produced so many sportspersons who have given their sweat and blood for the country like PT Usha, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Ajit Pal and so many others. One of these could have been made a goodwill ambassador. What was the need to import a person from Bollywood?” he asked.

Milkha, who won gold in 1958 and 1962 Asian Games, said the fact that no Indian sportsperson had been picked up as ambassador saddened him.

“I want to make it clear that I am not against Salman Khan, but the decision of the IOA is wrong and the Government should intervene in the matter. This is for the first time I am seeing a Bollywood hero being made goodwill ambassador for Olympics. I want to ask has Bollywood ever made any sportsperson an ambassador for any of their mega event?” he said.

“I want that the decision to name Salman Khan as ambassador should be revised,” he said.

Notably, the announcement regarding Salman was made in Delhi yesterday in the presence of star athletes such as boxer MC Mary Kom, hockey captain Sardar Singh and shooter Apurvi Chandela, among others.

All of them had backed the appointment.

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