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India's Rio Games ambassador Salman Khan: Sania Mirza, Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh are my heroes

New Delhi: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was on Saturday unveiled as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics to be held later this year.

Salman Khan (2nd from left) with India hockey captain Sardar Singh, ace boxer MC Mary Kom (third from left) and women’s hockey team captain Ritu Rani (right) at a function in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI
Salman Khan (2nd from left) with India hockey captain Sardar Singh, ace boxer MC Mary Kom (third from left) and women’s hockey team captain Ritu Rani (right) at a function in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which made the announcement at its headquarters, chose Salman from a list of two to three candidates which also included Shah Rukh Khan and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan.

However, the IOA reportedly chose Salman as he is considered to be more connected with the youth and is known to be a sports enthusiast. The 50-year-old is a youth icon and an inspiration for bodybuilding fans across the country.

His latest film Sultan is a sports-drama which sees Salman in the role of a wrestler who rises from small town origins to achieve international success.

This is the first time that a Bollywood superstar will be a goodwill ambassador for the Indian contingent at the Olympics.

A host of sports stars including MC Mary Kom, Sardar Singh, Ritu Rani, Deepika Kumari, Apurvi Chandela and Manika Batra were also present on the occasion. Salman hoped that they will be able to win medals at the Olympics.

“They are extremely talented and hard working. They are not here due to anybody’s recommendation. They are here because they are the best in the country. That is the reason why they are going to the Olympics,” said the actor.

“Kuch na kuch zaroor leke aana (please bring something from the Olympics),” the Dabang star added on a lighter note. “My sporting heroes are Sania, Sushil and Vijender. I hope I can give them the push that they need, in my role as goodwill ambassador,” he added.

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