Nita Ambani, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s wife, has been nominated for membership in the International Olympic Committee and will become the first Indian woman to be on the apex sporting body if she gets elected at the IOC Session scheduled from August 2 to 4.
Ambani said, “I believe in the power of sport to shape our youth, to bring together communities and bridge gaps between cultures and generations. I am grateful to IOC for this opportunity, it’s a recognition of India and Indian women. I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute in meeting the goals of IOC.”
Her nomination is acknowledgement of her work at the grassroots and in promoting education and sports.
There was plenty of praise for Nita Ambani getting the nod, led by none other than Sachin Tendulkar:
Congrats 2 Nita Ambani on being nominated to International Olympic Committee.Awesum darling.Now sports to b promoted at grassroots level— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) June 3, 2016
Mrs.Nita Ambani's nomination to be an IOC member is a true testament to her efforts to take sports to every corner of the nation#proudindian— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) June 3, 2016
But the best response, we think, came from India's only individual gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra.
Mrs Nita Ambani to be an IOC member from India ? How about sponsoring the Indian Olympic Team as a good will gesture !— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) June 3, 2016
Really look forward to her passionate involvement in the better meant and development of Indian Olympic Sport !— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) June 3, 2016
The Switzerland-based IOC is the supreme authority of the Olympic Movement and is responsible for holding of the summer and winter Olympics and Paralympics.
The election will be held at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro on August 2-4.
The independent selection process follows a new procedure for recruitment of IOC members based on the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations. Once elected, she will continue to be a member until the age of 70.
Ambani, the founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, is the first Indian woman to be nominated to the IOC.
Sir Dorabji Tata was the first Indian representative in the IOC while Raja Randhir Singh is currently a honorary member of the IOC and he was a member from 2000-2014.
Technically, as per the Olympic Charter and the IOC rules, the category under which Ambani is being considered is the one for volunteers who represent the IOC and Olympic Movement in their country. They are not delegates of their country within the IOC. The retirement age for such nominees is until they reach 70 years.
The 70 IOC members (excluding those from International Federations, athletes and representations of National Olympic Committee) are volunteers who represent the IOC and Olympic Movement in their country. New members are elected by the IOC Session.
(Feature image source: PTI)