Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], June 29: Seven athletes from the state of Odisha, have made their state proud with impressive performances at the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2023. In a fitting gesture of appreciation, the athletes were felicitated by Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Tusharkanti Behera with cash awards for their stellar achievement. As per a press release from Sports Odisha, in keeping with Odisha's commitment to recognising and incentivising athletes for brilliant performances, double medalist, Aridita Chakraborty who won the silver in the 400m and the bronze in the shot-put event was presented with Rs.4,00,000. Baishnab Rajpali and Kalpana Jena received Rs. 3,00,00 each for their silver in shot put and cycling respectively. Indian Contingent Script History in Berlin, Win 202 Medals at Special Olympics World Summer Games 2023.

Jyothi Ranjan Ojha, Shibani Priyadarshini and Mamali Nag who featured in the unified volleyball team that brought home a silver were awarded Rs 50,000. Sachin Barik who impressed on the Futsal team was also recognised for his participation with Rs 25,000. Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Behera extended his congratulations to the athletes for their inspiring performance and encouraged them to continue their journey.

"Congratulations to the exceptional athletes from Odisha. Their remarkable achievements at the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2023 have brought immense pride to our state. They serve as an inspiration and a testament to the transformative power of sports. As they strive for even greater heights, the state of Odisha is here to support and empower them with anything they need," he said. Special Olympics World Games 2023: Golfers Ranveer Saini, Rahul Agarwal Shine; Win Gold by Huge Margin.

Speaking on her achievement, Aridita Chakraborty said, "I am incredibly proud of my achievements and feel honoured to represent both India and Odisha. It is a special feeling to be recognized for our hard work and dedication. I hope to inspire others and continue making my state and country proud." The athletes were welcomed with a warm reception upon their arrival at the Biju Patnaik International Airport on Wednesday evening by OSD, Sports & Youth Services Department, Sidhartha Sankar Sahu, in the presence of officials from Special Olympics Bharat, Odisha Wing. (ANI)

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