NEW DELHI: The founder and chairperson of the Reliance Foundation Nita Ambani became the first Indian woman member of International Olympic Committee after being elected at the 129th IOC Session in Rio on Thursday.
Nita, who also founded the Indian Super League football tournament, was nominated for the post in June this year. She is the only individual member from India and her appointment at the world body is until she attains the age of 70.
The independent selection process follows a new procedure for the recruitment of IOC members based on the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations; those nominated are done so wholly on merit and then elected by existing IOC members.
Nita has been steering initiatives in the area of education, sports, health and art and culture. She has been involved in promoting multiple sports in the country with focus on developing talent through a number of large-scale grassroots initiatives. The grassroots programmes that she has initiated have reached out to over 3 million children in multiple sports.
“I am truly humbled and overwhelmed to be elected by the IOC. This is a recognition of the growing importance of India in the world stage and a recognition for Indian women,” said Nita.
“I have always believed in the power of sport to shape our youth. I believe that sports brings together communities, cultures, and generations has the power to unify and unite people. I look forward to spreading the spirit of Olympics and sports across our nation,” she added.
Sir Dorabji Tata was the first person to represent India in the IOC. Raja Randhir Singh is currently holding the post of an honorary member after serving the international body from 2000-2014.