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Photo : Hockey India and BFI   

Mary-Manpreet India’s Proud Flag Bearers For ‘Gender-Balanced Olympics’ In Tokyo

The land of the rising sun, sumo wrestling,  sushi food, and prime minister Yoshihide Suga is all set to unveil the Games of the 32nd Olympiad  on July 23, 2021.  The pandemic-caused delay of the Summer Games by a calendar year, has acquired a handful of monikers, notably COVID Games and TV-Screen Games, but the most significant is the one described by the International Olympic Committee, that starts the two-week competitions with the opening ceremony pageant, full of pomp and parade. The IOC has put down “Tokyo 2020” as the most gender-balanced games with more than 200 nations given the option to nominate for the first time, a male and female athlete as flag bearers at the opening ceremony. It’s a norm for countries to nominate its most decorated sports persons taking part in the Olympics for the opening day spectacle that’s much critiqued for a variety of reasons. At the second “Love in Tokyo” games (Tokyo was the host in 1964), India’s flag bearers will be its boxing icon, Manipur’s Mary Kom and the male hockey team captain, Punjab’s Manpreet Singh. Mary is a London Olympics bronze medalist and Manpreet is a two time Olympian (2012 London and 2016, Rio). Mary will be the third woman athlete after Shiny Wilson (1992 Barcelona) and Anju Bobby George (2004 Athens) to be bestowed the honour of leading India’s athletes in the march past.