Indian Athletes Aim for Gold on Billionaire's Buck

Trust seeks to boost Indian medal count
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 8:51 AM CST
Indian Athletes Aim for Gold on Billionaire's Buck
ArcelorMittal Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal arrives for a meeting with French President Nicoals Sarkozy, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP Photo/Michael Sawyer)   (Associated Press)

Young Indians are training for this summer’s Olympics with the backing of a London-based billionaire steel magnate, the Wall Street Journal reports. Lakshmi Mittal was dismayed by India’s poor showing at Athens in 2004—where the burgeoning superpower earned only a single silver, while archrival China won 32 golds—and founded the Mittal Champions Trust to identify and support promising athletes.

Mittal, who left India as a young man, has committed $10 million so far, and 10 athletes whose training he's supported will compete in Beijing. The Journal visits the program's camp near Bangalore, where one young archer who had no means to pursue Olympic dreams not only trains but sends money home to support his family. "I am so fired up that whatever's expected of me to win, whatever effort's expected, I will do it," he said. (More Olympic Games stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.