Nita Ambani is the first Indian woman to have been nominated to the Olympic Committee. Ambani is the Founder and Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation.
Although it appears to be only a formality, Ambani will need to be voted in at the next International Olympic Committee election. The 129th IOC session will be taking place from the 2nd – 4th August this year. The session will take place in Rio de Janeiro. After she has been elected, she will remain on the IOC committee until she reaches the age of 70.
“It is truly an honour and privilege to be nominated by IOC,” said Ambani. “I believe in the power of sport to shape our youth, to bring together communities and bridge gaps between cultures and generations. I am grateful to IOC for this opportunity, it’s a recognition of India and Indian women. I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute in meeting the goals of IOC.”
There are some that feel Ambani has not received the nomination on her own merit, rather that she was nominated because she is the wife of a rich businessman. The Indian Olympic Association officials do not share this view, and are pleased with the nomination.
Rajeev Mehta, the Secretary General of the Indian Olympic Association, supports the nomination. He commented: “We are extremely happy at the nomination of Nita Ambani. It will raise the status of India in the eyes of sporting world, as a proud nation in the Olympic movement. It will also raise the profile and awareness of Olympic movement and Olympic sports within the country. We welcome the move by the IOC.”
Ambani will be the third Indian individual to be elected to the IOC. Raja Randhir Singh is currently an honorary member of the IOC, and the late Sir Dorabji Tata had been a member of the IOC. As noted above, Ambani will be the first Indian woman to hold this position.