Music maestro A.R. Rahman has joined the likes of Bollywood star Salman Khan, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and Beijing Olympics gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra as the latest entrant in the list of goodwill ambassadors of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics. The Rio Olympic Games will start from 5th August till 21st August, 2016.
The Oscar-winning musician wrote to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) accepting their offer to become the fourth goodwill ambassador. Jubilant with the offer, the musical maestro said that he felt honoured and pleased to be a goodwill ambassador of the Rio Games. "It's absolutely an honour and my pleasure to be a goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent scheduled for August 2016," Rahman said in a release issued by the IOA.
“I would like to welcome AR Rahman on board as a goodwill ambassador of Indian contingent for Rio Olympics. It's our privilege to have the Oscar winning living legend-music composer on board to spread awareness and promote the Olympic movement. As per our plan to reach out to maximum people in the country for Olympic Sports, we are happy that Rahman has come forward from the field of music to support our athletes and we already have Salman Khan from Bollywood, Abhinav Bindra from Olympic Sports and Sachin Tendulkar from Cricket. I am sure Rahman will inspire our sportspersons", said Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General IOA.
The IOA's decision to rope in personalities from different fields as one of the goodwill ambassadors came after Bollywood actor Salman Khan's appointment left the sporting fraternity divided, with prominently the London Olympics bronze-medallist Yogeshwar Dutt and legendary sprinter Milkha Singh questioning the move of including a cinema personality as the Olympic goodwill ambassador. The IOA immediately went into damage-control mode, requesting the sporting legends in country such as Beijing Games gold medallist shooter Bindra and the master blaster Tendulkar to be Goodwill Ambassadors.