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On Wednesday night, the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup opened at Cuttack’s Barabati Stadium. This spectacular ceremony was attended by thousands of hockey fans from all over the country and around the world. Anurag Thakur (Union Sports Minister), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha Chief Minister), Tayyab Kram, International Hockey Federation president, and Dilip Tirkey, Hockey India chairman, were all present at the glittering ceremony that welcomed members of all 16 participating teams.
In his address, Ikram complimented Odisha’s hosting of the mega event twice consecutively. The last one was in 2018. He called the state “Land of Hockey“.
Thakur thanked Odisha for hosting the event in grandiose and stated that the Indian people and the state were enthusiastic about the game.
He stated that the Centre would continue to support states hosting sporting events.
Patnaik stated that Odisha is well-known for its hospitality, and that he hoped all visitors will have good memories of their time in the state.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union government, and Odisha for hosting the Men’s Hockey World Cup twice in a row.
The opening ceremony lasted an hour and was followed by colorful cultural programs that captivated the crowd.
The celebration started with a spectacular tribal dance art of the state. It was a fusion at least six local dance forms choreographed and performed by Aruna Mohanty, an eminent dance guru.
Sniti Mishra (Odia singer), Rituraj Mohanty and Lisa Mishra entertained the audience.
Sixteen fan parks were established at key locations in the city, where thousands of hockey enthusiasts and fans watched the opening ceremony on huge screens.
Many singers from Bollywood and other countries sang the Hockey World Cup theme tune that Pritam, the music director, had composed. He also performed on stage with other singers.
From January 13 through January 29, the matches will take place at two venues: Birsa Mundra Hockey Stadium, Rourkela, and Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
Twenty matches will be played in Rourkela. 24 matches, including a final, will take place in Bhubaneswar.
In Rourkela, the state government built a new stadium for hockey ahead of the event.
The international event will be held in Odisha for the second time in a row, with the first one being held in Bhubaneswar (2018).