Cricket is often blamed for less popularity of other sports but Salman believes people themselves don’t watch other games. “Olympics doesn’t get the viewership it deserves, which cricket gets, and that’s because we watch it more and other sports don’t get it because we don’t watch them… we are to be blamed,” the 50-year-old actor told reporters here. “Now, when so many games will be available under one umbrella (Olympics), you will automatically develop interest and then you will have your heroes in individual sports.
People would want to go to stadiums to watch their heroes play and hence the popularity will increase. This is the intention,” he said. The “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” star also intends to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to support Indian athletes. “I will try to go to Rio, especially in early stages when all athletes would be there. I am really trying to go there because I think that will be incredible. Apart from that, I will be doing my bit on the digital platform and promote the games as much as possible.”
Salman has developed a close bond with sports after working on “Sultan”, where he plays a Haryanvi wrestler. The actor revealed the reason he signed the YRF film was because he wanted to get back the endurance he had during his younger days and which he sees in sports stars.
“When we were growing up, we would enjoy getting tired. If someone did something really well, we would try to outdo him/her. There was a willingness to learn. “The pain these sports people endure while learning and pushing themselves for the next level, somewhere I don’t have that and that is what I want to get back to. That’s why I signed Sultan at the age of 50. I want to get back (to) that pain of learning and enjoy that pain,” he said.
The actor heaped praise on Tripura girl Dipika Karmakar, who recently became the first female Indian gymnast ever to secure an Olympic berth. “I saw her clip… She didn’t have anything in the name of equipment. She has come to this stage all on her own without any technique, coaching… Just imagine if we get the right facilities and get coached by the right people, where we can go!” Salman said.