India marks National Sports Day with homage to the greats
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to India's hockey legend Major Dyan Chand on the occasion of his 118th birth anniversary and the 12th National Sports Day on Monday.
PM Modi took his X (formerly Twitter) handle to wish the Indian sportspersons in the special day of the National Sports Day.
National Sports Day is being celebrated across the country today. It is celebrated as a tribute to Major Dhyan Chand, known for his goal-scoring ability and superb ball control.
A three-time Olympic gold medal winner, Major Dhyan Chand was part of the Indian hockey team that won gold in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 editions of the Olympics. In his 185 appearances for the country, he scored 570 goals for India.
Dhyan Chand played field hockey for the United Provinces team from where he got selected to play for the Indian team that went to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
In the 1928 Olympics, the Indian team won gold defeating their opponents by huge margins. This was the country's first gold medal.
Dhyan Chand netted many goals and international newspapers described him as a 'magician of hockey'. His amazing control over the ball and superb passes garnered a lot of attention and appreciation.
In the next Olympics which was held in Los Angeles (US) in 1932, the Indian team repeated their stellar performance of 1928 and won the gold. Chand along with his brother Roop Singh scored 25 out of the 35 goals India scored. This led to them being nicknamed the 'hockey twins'.
In 1934, Chand was made the captain of the Indian team.
In the Berlin Olympics of 1936, India faced host Germany in the finals. India won 8-1 with Dhyan Chand scoring 3 goals.
Chand played many domestic and international matches and shone like a star in all of them.
This 'Wizard of Hockey' was matched by none in the game of hockey and did wonders to bring glory and happiness to a country that was reeling under a colonial power.
In 1956, Chand retired from the army as a Major. In the same year, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan.
After retirement, Chand coached for many years. Not surprisingly, Dhyan Chand is considered the greatest hockey player of all time.