Khiladi of the Games!
Posted December 15, 2009on:
SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 15, 2009)
Akshay Kumar’s packing his bags. The Khiladi leaves tonight for Toronto where he will be the only actor among 14 international celebrities to run with the XXI Winter Olympics torch on Thursday. Akshay, who received the torch from Canadian Prime Minister Steve Harper in Mumbai last month, is the Indian ambassador at the Games which are slated to start on February 12, 2010. Over 80 nations participate in the Winter Olympics and the competition is held in eight sports including ice hockey, figure skating and Alpine skiing. India, which sent a four-member team to the last Games that were held in Turin, Italy, in 2006, came back with no medals for our efforts in the luge, crosscountry skiing and Alpine skiing. Clearly, the country’s pride now is Akshay at Toronto! The actor, when asked why he was chosen for this great sporting honour on an international platform like the Olympics, replied, “I definitely didn’t get nominated because of my cricket skills… I may be a celebrity, but with great power comes even greater responsibility. I have put a lot of effort over the years supporting and being brand ambassador for the ‘Special Olympics’ in India. I would go to any lengths to promote sport in my country, my efforts have been appreciated worldwide, and I am touched that India shares my enthusiasm. To be honoured to carry the Olympic torch is so prestigious in every country, you can’t ask for this honour, you can only be recognised for your true love and dedication to children, to sport, to bettering your country’s involvement in the world. You can’t imagine how grateful I am. And how nervous as well!”