First Pythian Games Festival in New Delhi
New Delhi (India), December 29: India witnessed a historic event as the International Pythian Council hosted the inaugural Pythian Games Festival 2023 at Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi from December 19th to 21st. This marked the revival of one of the ancient Pan-Hellenic Games after an astonishing 1630 years, bringing together a diverse array of cultural and sporting events that showcased the talents and skills of participants from around the globe.
The three-day extravaganza featured competitions in Music, Dance, Singing, Painting, Poetry, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Indiaca, Karate, Musical Chairs, Tug of War, Football, and more. Participants from 22 nations, including Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Namibia, Nepal, and Greece, contributed to the vibrancy and cultural richness of this historic event.
The opening ceremony was graced by the presence of Mrs. Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for the Departments of External Affairs and Cultures, who served as the Chief Guest. Mrs. Lekhi commended the modern model of the Pythian Games, encompassing music, dance, poetry, sports, and various martial arts. She highlighted the importance of the Pythian Games as a comprehensive solution for all fields of arts, cultures, sports, and traditional games, emphasizing parallels with the 64 characteristics of Lord Shri Krishna. Mrs. Lekhi stressed the significance of collaboration between Greece and India in sports, cultures, trade, commerce, and tourism, emphasizing the need to revive old traditions for global peace and harmony.
Mr. Bijender Goel, the founder of the Modern Pythian Games, has officially announced the schedule for upcoming events, including the 1st National Pythian Games in 2024, the 1st Pythian Para Games in 2025, and the 1st Junior Pythian Games in 2026. Proposing Athens, Greece, as the host for the 1st Pythian Games in 2027, he confirmed that dossiers would be submitted shortly.
Furthermore, comprehensive initiatives will be initiated across all states of India to actively engage with artists and promote traditional games in preparation for the National Pythian Games in 2024. Mr. Goel expressed gratitude to supporting entities such as Charles Group, DD Sports, All India Radio, and ABP LIVE, while urging business houses to extend their support to the Pythian Games initiative.
Mr Goel emphasized that the Modern Pythian Games are poised to unfold a realm of fresh financial prospects for artists and players alike, with a projected surge in sponsorships over time. The artistic talents hailing from Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi not only showcased their talent but also reaped substantial financial rewards, accumulating lakhs in cash prizes across diverse categories such as dance, music, and singing during the inaugural Pythian Games festival 2023. It is noteworthy, however, that this entire initiative has been launched on an experimental basis, signalling a bold and innovative step towards a promising future in the realms of art and sports.
Mr. Panos Kaltsis, President of the International Pythian Council, traveled from Delphi, Greece, to witness the Pythian Games Festival 2023. He praised Mr. Bijender Goel for introducing the idea of Modern Pythian Games, revealing that it was the oracle of Delphi that prompted the King of Olympia to start the Olympics in anticipation of a pandemic.
Mr. BH Anilkumar, President of the Pythian Council of India, highlighted the potential role of the Pythian Games in the global economy and cultural diplomacy.
The festival welcomed distinguished guests, including Ambassador Mrs. Bizunesh Meserat, Deputy Head of Mission of Ethiopia at New Delhi, Ms. Shelly Oberoi, Mayor of Delhi, Mr. Sanjay Srivastava, Former State Election Commissioner and Chief Secretary, Delhi, Mr. Dalip Singh, Former State Election Commissioner, Haryana, Mr. RK Srivastava, Former Chief Secretary Goa, Mr. Anil Pratham, Director General of Police, Gujarat, Mr. Dimitrios Sideris, Secretary, Greek Embassy in New Delhi, and Ms. Lena Kyropoulous, Secretary General, Ecumenical Delphic Union, Delphi, Greece, among others.
The Pythian Games Festival underscored the unity of nations through friendly competition, fostering cultural exchange and understanding. Participants demonstrated exceptional talent, dedication, and sportsmanship, contributing to the resounding success of this historic celebration. The organizing committee extends heartfelt gratitude to all participants, sponsors, and supporters for their invaluable contributions.
As the curtains fall on the 1st Pythian Games Festival, it leaves behind a legacy of cultural enrichment and international camaraderie, setting the stage for future editions of this momentous event.
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