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The Indian Olympic Association’s has appointed Salman Khan as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics
Many questions were raised about his new role, but the film industry was quick to come to the superstar’s defence.
Instead of picking at the appointment, industry-wallahs say, one should appreciate the move which can inspire the youth of the country.
Subhash Ghai, Kirron Kher, Sooraj Barjatiya, Sidharth Malhotra, Karan Johar, Sooraj Pancholi, and wait, even Aishwarya Rai, have all stood by the appointment. For starters, Salman plays sport, they claim – football, cricket, cycling, wrestling – ok so that last one is only on the screen, but hey, he is very much into fitness, we all know that! And most of all, he is an inspiration for the youth of our country (erm, he was 50 when we last checked, but that’s ok, he still inspires the youth….)
“No need to think that only a sportsman can represent the country,” Kirron Kher said. “Any eminent personality who inspires us can be a brand ambassador. I welcome the decision.”
Meanwhile, sportspersons are not so impressed. Wrestler and Olympian Yogeshwar Dutt was tweeting his displeasure an hour after the announcement was made. Olympics legend Milkha Singh was very vocal about his own unhappiness, picking out many names from within the sports fraternity who could have been worthy ambassadors. Cricketer Gautam Gambhir went so far as to say, “Sportspersons do not need Bollywood (personalities) for inspiration – it could be the other way round.”
The Indian Olympic Association has rushed to justify its decision to appoint Salman by stating that “the association is only a gesture and does not include any monetary consideration”.
But it was ex-girlfriend Katrina Kaif that said it best: “A controversy with Salman, is that a new thing?”