Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) In what is a landmark moment for the country, Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, has been named among the top-10 iSportconnect’s Influential Women In Sport 2020.
A pioneer in driving sports to new heights in India, Ambani has not only masterminded Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians to becoming the most successful team in the cash rich league’s history, she has set her eyes on India hosting the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in the future.
The premise of hosting an Olympics on home soil was set when the formal bid submission to host the 2023 IOC session was completed by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra and IOC member Ambani to IOC chief Thomas Bach on the sidelines of the governing body’s 134th session in Lausanne, Switzerland in June last year.
“We have never had an Olympic Games presence in India. We are No. 5 in GDP. We have seen Games going to Tokyo, Australia, Japan but never come to India. My dream is to start little by little and we realise this dream for the generations to come,” Ambani had said in an interview.
“It’s wonderful to see us now doing well, especially our girls doing well at the Olympics. But what about bringing the Games to India? The first step is to bid for the Olympics session in 2023. After that, I would love to bid for the Youth Olympics. That would be a game-changer.
“If we get the Youth Olympics to India, we can change the lives of many children. That will be our gateway to the Summer Olympics. It’s win-win for both, for the Olympics and for India,” she had said.
The IOC Session Evaluation Committee travelled to India in October last year and saw the Jio World Center as a venue with the potential to host the 2023 meeting.
Meanwhile, among others in the list, ace gymnast Simone Biles, US women’s football World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, tennis legend Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are also there.
Ellie Norman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Formula 1; Cathy Engelbert, Commissioner, WNBA; Fatma Samoura, Secretary General, FIFA; Mary Davis, CEO, Special Olympics and Clare Connor, Managing Director – Women’s Cricket, ECB complete the illustrious list.