Hockey Celebrations: When The World Witnessed Odisha’s Cultural & Sporting Prowess And Expressed Its Gratitude To the Leadership

Cuttack: The FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 got off to a spectacular start with the inaugural ceremony held at the iconic Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The jam packed stadium with more than 45 thousand spectators saw one of the biggest cultural extravaganzas of recent times in the country. The five hours long program mesmerized the millions of audience who joined live in witnessing the greatest ever event in the history of Hockey in the world. The once in a life time Celebrations mark the beginning of the FIH Men’s World Cup 2023 being hosted by Odisha for the second time in a row.

While the cultural programs were performed by some of the best national and international performers, the inaugural event witnessed Odisha’s ability to organize big ticket events in the state. It demonstrated the commitment shown by the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the development of the game of Hockey. Attended by the who’s who of the Hockey world, the event will be remembered as the greatest event for hockey in the world. The event was just the culmination of the all efforts by the Government of Odisha and its leadership that has been trying to resurrect the game of Hockey for the last decade and more.

Speaking at the inaugural program, Tayyab Ikram, President, FIH, said that the International Hockey Federation owes Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik a lot. He said, “We owe you a lot, World Hockey owes you a lot. Thank You. I have come here with the thanks of the players from across the world for the people of Odisha, for the people India. Thank you for having the world’s best teams in Odisha. Let me announce, this is not only the land of culture. This is the land of Hockey also. Odisha is the land of Hockey”.

He said, “We have one of the world’s best stadiums in Rourkela at which our top players will perform. They have already declared the facility as one of the best in the world. Congratulation to you all. This is a privilege, an honour for us, and the International Hockey Federation and all its members are with you in this journey. We will be with you forever.”

Anurag Thakur, Union Minister For Sports And Youth Affairs, praised the efforts of the Government of Odisha in organizing the event and said, “This is a great moment for India to host the Hockey World Cup 2023. At Cuttack, I am seeing one of the best Hockey Programs of the world being organised. I would like to thank Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for all the efforts to host the Hockey World Cup in India, and constructing a new stadium not only for Odisha but for the Country.

In his address to the gathering, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “Odisha has long been known for its hospitality. I am sure, all the visitors will take a little part of Odisha home with them. I thank Prime Minister and for all its support.” Once again his famous tagline for the people of Odisha and India saw resounding response from the audience. “Odisha Re International Men’s Hocky World Cup Heuchi…Apan Mane Khushi Ta? Cuttack re inauguration heuchi…Apan Mane Khushi Ta?..Mun bhi Bahut Khushi…” enthralled the audience the most.

The fireworks, the Drone show, the entry of Ranveer Singh…captivating Odishi dance…all left the audience spellbound. Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh and Disha Patani wowed the crowd with their wonderful performances while the BLACKSWAN, a global girl music group performed to the delight of the audience. Famous Bollywood music director Pritam who also created the Hockey World Cup anthem, enthralled the audience. In this Youth concert were many noted musicians and famed singers like Benny Dayal, Neeti Mohan along with a Drone Show.

There were various performances by local Odia talent from the Odia film industry as well as from Prince Dance Group of Odisha. The entire event commenced with an invocation ceremony by Guru Aruna Mohanty as a tribute to Lord Jagannath.

As the fireworks of this inaugural event of this sporting extravaganza lit up the night sky in Cuttack, it put a sparkle in the eyes of every member of the audience. The incredible show was a dazzling sight to see, and will be a sight to remember.

An incredible showcase of technology elevated the stadium to new heights with xylobands glittering all across the audience and pulsing to the music, an awe-inspiring show that is sure to live on in people’s hearts forever.

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