The Indian hockey teams have reached the Japanese capital for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after a busy season at the center of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Bengaluru.

The teams will begin their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on July 24th.

The ice hockey teams have always borne the brunt of the expectations at every Olympiad. The men’s team are hoping to finish a 41-year-old medal throat, while the women’s team, topping the list for the first time by qualifying for consecutive Olympics, would like to make history by becoming the first Indian women’s ice hockey team to win a medal.

Read: How many gold medals did the Indian ice hockey team win in the Olympics?

Immediately after the teams landed in Tokyo and completed their mandatory checks, they set off with warm-ups and light intensity training.

As the Tokyo Olympics approaches, the captains of the Indian ice hockey team – Rani Rampal and Manpreet Singh – have jointly written an open letter to all ice hockey fans around the world.

Warm letter to ice hockey fans from Indian captains

To Indian hockey fans around the world,

We hope that you find this letter in good health and full of anticipation for the Olympic Games.

We are pleased to announce to all of you that the Indian women’s and men’s national ice hockey teams have arrived safely in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. This is an emotional moment for the whole group because there were many obstacles along the way.

There were times when it looked like all of the competition was about to be called into question because of the circumstances in the world. Now that we are here, the dream we have had for the past five years is within our grasp.

In hockey, a team is incomplete without the support of their team, as is a team without the support of the backroom staff who prepared the team.

We would like to thank the coaching staff and the supervisors who made our way here possible. We owe our achievements on the pitch to these dedicated members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure we become the best we can be.

We would also like to mention the Ministry of Sports, the Sports Authority of India, Hockey India, the Indian Olympic Association and especially the government of the state of Odisha, without whose support we probably would not even have got on the flight to Tokyo. Each of them did their part to ensure that we had all the facilities that were needed in the year of the pandemic, we are very grateful to all of them!

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In recent months, our teams have spent a lot of time in our own group due to the new reality of life and training in a safe bio-bubble. All the time the players have been on and off the pitch in each other’s company has brought our respective teams closer together than ever before.

Each of us have grown in life as a hockey player and as an individual due to the challenging situations we have faced. It is a privilege for both of us to lead our respective teams to the Olympics. It’s an honor that counts as one of our greatest personal accomplishments in hockey.

Representing your country at the Olympics is one of the proudest and most beautiful moments in an athlete’s career. A large part of this feeling comes from the fact that the athlete shares this exciting experience with everyone in his country.

Long before any of us were Olympians, we were just keen kids who tuned in to see their heroes represent India in the world’s biggest competition every four years. Now that we’ve achieved this, we understand how much the support and blessings of every single fan at home count. It drives us and gives us the strength to fight for our goals.

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On behalf of the Indian women’s and men’s ice hockey teams, we ask for your best wishes and your full support for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Even though we are miles away from our fans at home, we can feel that love every time we step on the pitch.

We promise you that we will cherish every minute of this prestigious tournament to make you all proud.

Many Thanks. Jai Hind.

Rani – Captain: Indian Women’s National Hockey Team.

Manpreet Singh – Captain: Indian Men’s National Hockey Team.

Indian fans will hope the hockey team lives up to expectations and returns with an Olympic medal.

Also read: Indian Ice Hockey at Tokyo Olympics 2020: All Participants, Events, Dates and Live Streaming Details