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Nita Ambani becomes first Indian woman to be elected to IOC

MUMBAI: Indian billionaire and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani, who is also the founder chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, has been elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an individual member. This makes Mrs Ambani the first Indian woman to be elected to the prestigious body.

Nita_AmbaniNita Ambani was elected by IOC members in Rio de Janeiro today at the IOC’s 129th session. She was nominated by the IOC executive board in June 2016. She is the only individual member from India and her appointment at the world body is valid 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.

As founder and chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, Mrs Ambani has been steering initiatives in the area of education, sports, health, and art and culture. She is involved in promoting multiple sports in the country with a 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. She is also the architect of the Indian Super League that is galvanising Indian football.

“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,” she said.

“I have always believed in the power of sport to shape our youth. I believe that sports bring together communities, cultures and generations, and have the power to unify and unite people. I look forward to spreading the spirit of Olympics and sports across our nation.”