Regarded as one of India’s greatest and the finest sportsman the country has ever produced – Major Dhyan Chand needs no introduction in the world of sports. August 29 is not only widely celebrated as Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary but also observe as the ‘National Sports Day’ in remembrance of one of the greatest hockey players in the world. Also Read - National Sports Day 2020: India Hockey Stars to Motivate Fans With Skills Challenge
In his heydays, Dhyan Chand was considered as a force to reckon with and he would singlehandedly breach the defence of opposing teams. Despite producing a plethora of exceptional hockey talent, the name of ‘Dhyan Chand’ still remains on the top of the tree only because of his sheer unmatchable skills and his exploits with the stick in national jersey. Also Read - A Day Before Receiving Dronacharya Award, Athletics Coach Purshottam Rai Dies
On the occasion of Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary or the National Sports Day, the honourable President of India is known to distribute awards such as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna and Dronacharya. However, with Asian Games 2018 currently underway in Jakarta and Palembang, the date for the awards has been postponed due to September 25.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of Dhyan Chand’s 113th birth anniversary, we list out some of the interesting facts about the hockey wizard, who left an indelible mark with his magical performances on the field.
1. Dhyan Chand joined the British Indian Army as a Sepoy at the age of 16 years. He also took up the hockey around the same time.
2. He was given the name – Dhyan Chand (real name – Dhyan Singh) by his friends as he used to practice during the late night hours under the moon’s light (referred as Chand in Hindi).
3. Famous dictator – Adolf Hitler was very impressed with the game of Dhyan Chand that he offered him German citizenship and the rank of Colonel in his army.
4. It is also reported that once in Netherlands match officials broke Dhyan Chand’s hockey stick to check if there was any magnet inside. Chand’s mind-boggling skills made them do so.
5. Major Dhyan Chand also helped India in winning three Olympic gold medals (1928, 1932 and 1936).
6. Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Dhyan Chand also played hockey and represented India. He scored an important goal in the 1975 Kuala Lumpur Hockey World Cup against Pakistan to win the Gold Medal.
7. Indian government rewarded Dhyan Chand’s talent with Padma Bhushan in 1956. His birthday 29th August is celebrated as the National Sports Day across the country.