*Opening ceremony at NDS Stadium, Leh today
Excelsior Sports Correspondent
LEH, Feb 1: The Union Territory of Ladakh, hosting the Khelo India Winter Games for the first time, is all set for a historic and traditional opening ceremony at Nawang Dorjay Stobdan Stadium in Leh on Friday. The first part of KIWG-2024 will be held here till February 6. The second part of the Games will be held in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir from February 21 to 25.
‘We are really excited and want to prove that we can host ice games at the national level. Leh is known for Ice hockey and Ice skating and since this is our debut, we want to justify the faith that the Union Sports Ministry has reposed on us,’ said Ravinder Kumar, Sports Secretary, UT of Ladakh.
Ladakh will be conducting two Games (disciplines) – Ice hockey and Speed skating. Three hundred and forty-four athletes from 15 states and Union Territories and two public institutions will compete over five days across three venues – NDS Sports Stadium, Gupuks pond and Ladakh Scout Regimental Centre (LSRC) rink.
‘It’s been hectic but we are getting a lot of help from local associations, volunteers and the Army. Everyone coming here are our guests. We want athletes to have a pleasant experience and come back here as tourists, too,’ said the Secretary, adding the venues are fully prepared to host the Games.
Jammu and Kashmir, which hosted the Khelo India Winter Games in its entirety in 2023, won the team championship with 25 gold medals and Ladakh (4 gold medals) finished ninth.
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