Odisha Hockey World Cup: Meet the faces behind Olly

Bhubaneswar: Entire world witnessed organising skills of Odisha during Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 at Smart City Bhubaneswar. But, it was Olly that was the centre of attraction at the world-class sports event at the Kalinga Stadium.

Nobody has ever thought about the Olly that was spotted everywhere amusing the hockey fans on premises of the stadium where the total 16 teams of various countries had clashes and finally team Belgium lifted the World Cup at final match against the Netherlands on Sunday evening.

Here are five faces behind the Olly, who were shaking legs with the audiences, playing with them and made their evenings special since Nov 22, the beginning of the World Cup till the final clash on Dec 16.

Nikhil Panigrahy from Bhadrak district, Satyanarayan Srichandan from Jankia of Khordha district, Upendra Jena from Balianta of Khordha, Dinesh Routray and Bikash Kumar Sahoo from Bhubaneswar were the persons who transformed Olly to become an unquestionable favourite with their warmth, fun and frolic gestures during the international hockey event.

“We have lots of fans here during the hockey matches. We had to entertain the audiences. The fans and children had clicked selfies with us. It was a very good experience to amuse the audiences under Olly mascot. We found very funny when kids were shaking hands with us, dancing with us and asking for us for Olly Tee shirts out of curiosity,” said ‘Olly’ Upendra Jena.

“We had appeared in form of Olly at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships 2017 held in Bhubaneswar. During Hockey World Cup this year, we had fun with fans. We used to make preparation a day before any match for amusing the audiences at the ground,” said ‘Olly’ Nikhil Panigrahy.

They appear funny in Olly attire, but it’s too difficult to wear and carry the outfit and move around the stadium throughout every evening during the matches.

The Olly outfit weighs over 5 kg. Playing an Olly character inside the mascot generates a lot of sweat from the body as well as brings cheer for them.

“We have turned Olly for people. We are always ready to encourage the fans and make fun with them. Although we feel warm wearing the Olly outfit, that heat was transformed into delight after seeing the fans,” said ‘Olly’ Dinesh Routray.

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