Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated the Odia athletes, who represented India at the RIo Olympics. While none of the athletes from the state win a medal for India -- only PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik did that -- they were honoured by the the CM.
A total of six athletes from Odisha travelled to Rio, with four of them -- Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz and Sunita Lakra -- being hockey players in the women's team. The other two -- Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda -- took part in the track and field competition.
The women's hockey team failed to progress to the knockout stages, while the two sprinters could not seal a place in the semifinals of their respective events.
Patnaik did not look at the results much, as he felt that these women can inspire other athletes in the state to deliver the goods for the nation in future Olympics. They were handed Rs five lakhs each by the state government.
"It is a pride for the state that six Odia girls have participated in the Olympics, 2016. Though they have not won any medal, their participation itself will encourage other sports persons in the state. To encourage youths in the sports, the state government has announced jobs and other incentives for the sports persons," the chief minister said.
The four hockey players of the state had also come into the limelight recently, after reports emerged that some of the women's hockey players were told to sit in the floor of a train. However, the Indian railways put out a statement, stating that the reports were false.