It was a spectacular beginning of the 2nd edition of Khelo India Winter Games on Friday at the world famous ski-slopes in north Kashmir’s Gulmarg that was e-inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who announced that the event is a step towards making Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports in the country.

As many as 1375 participants from 27 states and UTs are competing in the Games which will conclude on 2 March.

While Modi e-inaugurated the event from New Delhi, Lt. Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha and youth affairs and sports minister Kiren Rijiju were present at the sports venue in Gulmarg.

“This is a step towards making India’s presence felt in the international winter games arena and also make Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports,” Modi said in the virtual address.

“These Games will strengthen the resolve for ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat’. I am told the participation has doubled this year and it is a reflection of the inclination towards winter sports in the country,” he said.

He said the experience from this winter games would help the players while participating in winter Olympics. Winter games in Jammu & Kashmir would help in developing a new sporting ecosystem and this event would instill new spirit and enthusiasm in the tourism sector in Jammu & Kashmir.

He said sports have become an area in which countries of the world project their soft power.

The Prime Minister said that sports have a global dimension and this vision has been guiding the recent reforms in the sports ecosystem.