Dhyan Chand Singh, or Dhyan Chand as we know him, is an exemplary hockey player who has won India many laurels with the magic of his hockey stick. He helped India win 3 Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936. Today, on his 144th birth anniversary, also observed as the National Sports Day, Abhinav Khare deep dives into the story of the hockey wizard, who made Adolf Hitler leave the stadium midway during the match and even rejected his job offer.

 

He would practice after his duty and would wait for the moon to be up to ensure visibility. Hence, his fellow teammates called him Chand, since he practised when the moon was out.

Dhyan Chand has scored 14 goals in 5 matches in the 1928 Olympics. In the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, he had scored 12 goals. He captained the Indian team in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and he had scored 33 goals in 12 matches in the three Olympic tournaments.

He made Hitler leave the stadium midway during the final match of the 1936 Berlin Olympic as he couldn’t watch his team lose. After the match, he conveyed his desire to meet Dhyan Chand owing to his stellar performance in the match. The next morning, when he met him, he offered him the role of a Field Marshal. Dhyan Chand out rightly rejected that and said, “India is my country, and I am fine there”.

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He retired from the Army as a Major in 1956 and he was awarded the Padma Bushan by the government of India the same year. After he retired, he coached the hockey team for a while and finally settled in Jhansi. It is said that in the latter part of his life, he was ignored by his own country and was even turned away from a tournament in Ahmedabad because people failed to recognise him. While obsessing over cricket, did we forget the hero who won us so many laurels even when the country was not independent?

About Abhinav Khare:

Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News and hosts a daily show Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare.

He is the proud father of two beautiful daughters. He lives in Bengaluru with his loving family and a lifetime collection of books and gadgets. He is a hands-on Tech Startup professional with an entrepreneurial DNA. He is passionate about policy, technology, economy and the synergy of them all. An avid traveller himself, he has already ticked over a 42 countries and hundred cities around the globe!