Olly unveiled as official mascot of Asian Athletics C’ship

Olly, the Olive Ridley sea turtle was unveiled as the official mascot for the 22nd edition of the Asian Athletics Championships to be held here from July 6 to 9.

Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik on Monday flagged off the Asian Athletics Championships’ mascot rally.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Olly, the Olive Ridley sea turtle was unveiled as the official mascot for the 22nd edition of the Asian Athletics Championships to be held here from July 6 to 9.

Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik on Monday flagged off the Asian Athletics Championships’ mascot rally, which will tour all the 30 districts of the State to spread awareness and publicity for the event.

The mascot has been chosen with the aim of generating awareness amongst the masses and creating a sense of belongingness to the Championships.

The rally was flagged off from the Kalinga Stadium, the venue of the Asian Athletics Championships, which has been completely renovated and upgraded to host the continent’s premier track and field event.

A brand new synthetic track, complete with floodlights and a brand new warm-up facility has been set up to host the event.

Olly has rightfully being designated as the mascot as it belongs to the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that travel thousands of miles in the ocean and arrive in millions every year on the Rushikulya and Gahirmatha beaches for their annual nesting.

Speaking on the occasion, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “The 22nd Asian Athletics Championships will be the largest ever sporting event in Bhubaneshwar with participation of 45 countries. Bhubaneshwar has emerged as a sought-after destination for international sports competitions, as it will also host the Hockey World League Final in December 2017 and the prestigious men’s Hockey World Cup in December 2018.”

“The Olive Ridley turtles are our State’s pride and I hope that through our mascot, Olly, we can create more awareness about their protection and conservation throughout the country.”

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