In 2012 London Olympics it was 83; in 2008 Beijing it was just 56; comparatively the Indian contingent to Olympics is over 100 this time, a nice number indicating the growth of sports in Indian subcontinent. What is even more heartening is that nine private sector companies are sponsoring the team in various capacities – the first of its kind in the history of sport in India. This will be an important support for the Rio-bound athletes and a welcome gesture. Even though there is government funding, the athletes going to Olympics need the sponsorship and assistance through private funding that will help them to get better practice and equipment, and the players can focus on the game instead of running around for money. Anju Bobby George who led the Indian contingent to Olympics in 2004 and 2008 shared on how it was a major struggle to get funds. “It’s good because the players can now stop worrying and concentrate on their game,” she mentioned.
The companies providing the Indian athletes are Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance (of financial conglomerate Edelweiss Group) and Amul. The principal sponsor is Edelweiss that has offered a life Insurance cover of Rs one crore for each athlete representing India. The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which sells its product under the brand Amul, will also pay Rs one crore to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for sponsorship.