National Sports day is celebrated remarking the birth anniversary of India’s hockey legend Dhyan Chand. He was known to be the best hockey player of all time. With his amazing skills on the field, he would make opposition team look like ducks.His ability to make goals and winning matches had brought many memorable victories as well as medals for India.
He was born on August 29, 1905, at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. The hockey legend was the main reason for India’s dominance in the early 1900s. With his exceptional talent, he had gained huge fans not only in India but from all over the world. On his birthday, i.e., 29th August is celebrated as National Sports day in India where President of India will give awards like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna and Dronacharya awards to the players and coaches.
On his 111th birth anniversary, we would like to share some unknown and Interesting facts about the hockey wizard of India.
• Dhyan Chand joined the British Indian Army as a Sepoy in 1921 at the age of 16.
• As a young boy, Dhyan Chand used to love wrestling and never played hockey before joining the Army
• His original name was Dhyan Singh. His fellow players gave him the name of Dhyan Chand since he used to practice a lot in the Moon( Chand in Hindi) light.
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• Witnessing his exceptional performance in the Berlin Olympics 1936 Adolf Hitler became a fan of his game and offered him German citizenship along with the rank of Colonel in the military.
• Dhyan Chand with his brilliance in the stick work had earned India three Olympic gold medals in the years 1928, 1932 and 1936.
• During the Olympic final against Germany in 1936, In the 2nd half of the match, Dhyan Chand removed his spiked shoes & stockings and played with barefoot. He managed to score three goals with barefoot.
• Once in a hockey match, Dhyan Chand was not able to score a single goal against the rival team. After several unsuccessful attempts, he started arguing with the referee over the measurement of the goal post. To everyone’s surprise, it was found not to be in conformation with the official width of a goal post
• In 1936, Dhyan Chand lost a tooth when he collided with German Goal keeper Tito Warnholtz.
• The fear of Dhyan Chand’s marvelous game play forced the officials in Netherlands to break his hockey stick to check if there was a magnet inside.
• As a tribute to the hockey wizard of India, the residents of Vienna, Austria had set up a statue with four hands and four hockey sticks, depicting his mastery in the game.
• Dhyan Chand scored 14 goals at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, finishing as the leading goal-scorer at the event.
• When India beat USA 24-1 in the 1932 Summer Olympics hockey final, Dhyan Chand scored eight goals, while his brother Roop Singh netted 10. The duo scored a combined 25 goals at the tournament.
• In his total International career spanning from 1926-1948, he scored more than 400 goals
• Dhyan Chand retired from the army with the rank of Major, and he was honored with Padma Bhushan in 1956.
• Arguably the greatest cricketer of all time, Sir Don Bradman on seeing Dhyan Chand said, “You score goals like runs.”
• Regarded as one of the 359 Olympic heroes. A tube station in London has been named after Dhyan Chand.
• Under his name, Dhyan Chand Award is given by the Ministry Of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. Of India for lifetime achievement in the field of sports and games. The award was initiated in the year 2002.
• In honour of arguably the greatest hockey player of all time, the National Hockey Stadium in Delhi was renamed as Dhyan Chand National Stadium in 2002.
• Goal’ is the autobiography of Dhyan Chand, published in 1952
• Dhyan Chand was given the Padma Bhushan award in 1956.
There is a huge demand by the sports lovers and hockey fans asking Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand but the Indian government had not awarded yet . No matter whether the government award him or not he was surely the ‘Ratna of Bharat.’