North East Olympics open with lavish ceremony in Shillong

Shillong: The second edition of the North East Olympic Games (NEOG), 2022, kicked off on Thursday with a glitzy opening ceremony at the SAI NEHU Athletic Ground in Shillong.

Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma inaugurated the event by lighting the ceremonial lamp. “Sport is very important in shaping the mind and personality of young people,” Sangma said at the inaugural ceremony of the SAI complex.

He congratulated all the athletes participating in the event and urged them to respect the ethics of sportsmanship.

More than 3,000 athletes from the region will participate in 18 sports disciplines.

A dazzling display of 500 drones marked the start of the North East Olympics, which will showcase some of the region’s greatest sporting talents. Olympian Hima Das from Assam was present at the inaugural ceremony. The event was hosted by actor and TV presenter Mandira Bedi.

The Chief Minister added that the event is a platform for athletes from the region to shine at international events such as the Olympics.

A series of dance and music performances set the tone for the start of the 2nd edition of the North East Olympics, which was attended by dignitaries from different parts of the North East region.

Sports Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh said the aim of hosting the games was to encourage greater participation by young people to discover talent for top-level competition.

Games disciplines include archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, football, judo, karate, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis , wushu, cycling, golf, weightlifting and wrestling.

The event is jointly organized by the Government of Meghalaya with the North East Olympic Association and the State Olympic Association of Meghalaya.

MSOA Current President John F Kharshiing said, “We have taken this opportunity to create new infrastructure and facilities for a smooth and comfortable experience for the athletes. We are grateful to the state government for bringing about a paradigm shift in its approach to sports development.

NEOA President Th Radheshyam said that the very purpose of NEOG, which was launched in 2018, is to give a foundation to the youth. “We want to build on the aspirations of our children and help them reach their full potential. Our young people should have the best environment to build themselves,” he said.

“Meghalaya has a remarkable way of doing things. The love and affection shown to everyone has been incredible,” he added.

The opening ceremony ended with fireworks and a jamming session.

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Naomi C. Amerson