ar rahman
The IOA wanted to rope in Indian celebs ahead of the Rio games to popularise the event across the nation. Pictured: A.R. Rahman performs during the Intel keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 5, 2016.Reuters

Music maestro AR Rahman has accepted the Indian Olympic Asoociation's (IOA) request to become the Goodwill Ambassador for the Indian contingent in the Rio Olympics 2016, it was confirmed on Thursday. Rahman now joins Salman Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and Abhinav Bindra in taking up the ambassadorial roles ahead of the mega sporting quadrennial event.

The Olympics at Rio de Janeiro is slated to start on August 5, this year.

This is the first time that the IOA are roping in Indian celebrities from the field of sports and entertainment to popularise the event across the country. 2016 Olympics also marks an important milestone for the nation as the IOA will be sending the largest ever Indian contingent to the Olympics.

The tally keeps on increasing each day. "About 90 athletes have qualified for Olympics in Rio. India will send the largest ever contingent this year," Union Minister of State for Home Affarirs Kiren Rijiju had said at the Lok Sabha, as quoted by the Press Trust of India, on May 10.

Rahman is the music director of Brazil football legend Pele's biopic: 'Pele: Birth of a Legend'.