We will work for athletes only, claims PT Usha after becoming IOA president
After becoming the first woman president of the Indian Olympic Association, former sprinter PT Usha said, that she had never imagined that she will become the top boss of the IOA. She went on to say, whatever she has achieved was because of athletics, and will keep contributing to the sports.
"I never thought I would one day become IOA president," track and field legend PT Usha said after she was elected as the first woman head of the Indian Olympic Association on Saturday.
"In my whole life, I had lived just 13 years without sports. Otherwise, I have been living with sports, as an athlete, coach, and administrator in different roles," she said while addressing a press conference after her elevation to the top job.
"I had never thought that I would one day become IOA chief or member of Parliament. This is all because of my sport," she said. the legendary sprinter took up athletics at the age of nine and continued with the sport until 1990 when she retired for four years. After coming back, she was active till 2000.
After 2000, she remained associated with athletics as a mentor to promising athletes at her academy -- Usha School of Athletics. She is currently the chairperson of its junior selection committee. She has also served on national award committees of the government.
"The national federations, the Athletes Commission, and SOMs (Sportspersons of Outstanding Merit) pushed me to file nomination papers for the president's post. I am thankful to all of them," said Usha.
"I was earlier not close to IOA and federation (AFI) but now I have come (become IOA chief) because all our sportspersons want to. There are also many sportspersons on the executive committee. I am very happy about that."
"Me and my team, with collective effort, will do our best to work for the betterment of sports in the country. We will take the opinions of federations, athletes, and coaches and we will work together to bring more medals to our country.
"Only sportspersons know how tough it is to come from lower levels and win international medals. We will work for the athletes only."