New Delhi: "Just give your 100 per cent," Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday encouraged para-athletes to not worry about the medals and how strong the opponents would be at the Tokyo Paralympics -- slated from August 24 to September 5.
Modi interacted with the Indian contingent through video conferencing, wishing them luck for the Games. India's biggest-ever contingent to the Paralympic Games -- 54 para-athletes from across nine sports disciplines -- will be heading to Tokyo.
While interacting with the Paralympians, the PM said, "After talking with you all, I realised that India is going to script history at the Paralympics as well. COVID-19 may have increased your hardships but you people have never given up, this is real sportsmanship. Your medal is very important but New India will not pressurise our athletes to win the medal, you just need to give your 100 per cent.
"You all just have to give your best without any mental pressure or worrying about your opponents. You all have seen that some of our athletes won and some lost in Tokyo (Olympics), but the country stood by them all, strongly, cheering for all of them. As an athlete, you all know that like physical, mental strength is also important. You all have come up after witnessing a lot of struggle and you know well how to handle this," he said.
Meanwhile, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur thanked Modi for extending his support to athletes across the country. "Your encouragement will motivate the youth to take up sports and do well in it," he said.