India has won the bid to host the 2023 International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) session in Mumbai, in an unopposed race on February 19.

The Indian delegation made its presentation to IOC members during the 139th IOC Session, being held alongside the ongoing Winter Olympics in Beijing. This will be the first time in four decades and the second time overall that India hosts the IOC Session after 1983 when it was last held in Delhi.

The Indian delegation that bid included Abhinav Bindra – India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist (Beijing 2008, shooting); Anurag Singh Thakur, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister; IOC Member Nita Ambani; and Narinder Batra, President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), it added.

IOC member Nita Ambani, who is also the first woman to be elected as an IOC member from India, described the decision as “a significant development for India’s Olympic aspirations and a matter of great pride and joy”.

Mumbai received a historic 99 percent of the votes in favour of its bid from the delegates participating in the process, with 75 members endorsing its candidature to host the IOC session in 2023.

Ambani also reaffirmed her long-standing commitment towards enabling the country hosts the Youth Olympic Games and the Olympic Games in the future.

“The Olympic Movement is back to India after a 40-year wait! Sport has always been a beacon of hope and inspiration for millions around the world. We are one of the youngest countries in the world today and I’m excited for the youth of India to embrace and experience first-hand the magic of the Olympics. It is our dream to strengthen this partnership further and host the Olympic Games in India in the years to come!

Noting that nearly half of India’s population, over 600 million, are under 25 years of age, Ambani in her speech to the IOC delegates called the country “the most crucial and exciting places to nurture and grow the ‘Olympic Movement’.

“It is our mission to identify potential talent and guide them to greatness in the world of sport. To coincide with the Olympic Session 2023, we propose to launch a series of elite sports development programmes for youth across deprived communities,” she added.

Batra also thanked IOC Member colleagues for their support, adding: “This is the start of a new era for India sport – an era that features the long-term goal of hosting the Olympic Games in India. We are ambitious and recognise our objectives are bold. But India is on an exciting journey and we want the Olympic Movement to play a central part in building a brighter future for our next generation. Delivering a truly memorable IOC Session in Mumbai in 2023, with a strong emphasis on youth potential, sustainability, and innovation, will be one of the first steps to showcase India’s new sporting capacity.”

The Session, to be held in the summer of 2023, will be hosted at the state-of-the-art, brand new Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. Situated in the heart of the city at Bandra Kurla Complex, the JWC is the largest convention centre in India and will start operations in early 2022.

An IOC Session is the general meeting of the IOC’s 101 members with voting rights, 45 honorary members, and 1 member without voting right. Senior representatives from over 50 international sports federations also attend the meet. Senior reps include Presidents and Secretaries-General, while the federations include summer and winter sporting disciplines.

IOC Session is the committee’s “supreme organ, and its decisions are final”. Ordinary IOC Sessions are held once a year and Extraordinary IOC Sessions are convened either by the IOC President or by written request of at least one-third of members.

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