New Delhi, Aug 13 : While appreciating cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar's request to encourage Indian athletes participating in the ongoing Rio Olympics in his speech on the 70th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the country is proud of its sportspersons regardless of the result at the prestigious quadrennial event.
"Bharat Ratna @sachin_rt (and) one of India's most admired sportspersons wanted me to speak on India's athletes currently in Rio, on15th August," Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets.
The Prime Minister then asked the legendary batsman why he should wait till 15th of August to speak about Indian sportspersons, adding he wanted to do so now.
"India is phenomenally proud of all our athletes in Rio (and) their hardwork that got them there. Victory (and) setbacks are all a part of life," PM Modi said, while urging the remaining participants to give their best without being burdened by the outcome.
"The endurance, determination (and) dedication of every Indian athlete who is in Rio makes us very proud.
They are India's pride," he added. India, which has sent its largest-ever contingent of 119 athletes in Rio Olympics, is yet to open its medal account in the ongoing Summer Games.
Prime Minister Modi, via his newly launched mobile application 'Namo', had sought suggestions from public on what he should include in his Independence Day speech.
In a message to Modi's app, Tendulkar requested the Prime Minister to say some encouraging words to all those athletes who have failed and those who are striving to bring laurels for the country at the Rio Games.
Tendulkar, 43, the Indian Olympic Association goodwill ambassador, was present in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to boost the morale of the athletes.