One of the best examples of inspirational leaders is Major Dhyan Singh ‘Chand’. Fondly remembered as the wizard of hockey, Dhyan Chand is the most legendary Indian sports star of all time.
Dhyan chand was an Indian Hockey player, who is considered as the greatest Hockey player in the history of the sport.
Born as Dhyan Singh in Allahabad on 29 August 1905, Chand took after his father and joined the Indian Army as a soldier at the age of 16.
Dhyan Chand got so passionate with this game that he spends several hours every day mastering and innovating new techniques in this game. Indian team participated in the Hockey Tournament for the first time in the VIII Olympiad held at Amsterdam in 1928. India won the championship by 3-0. Out of the three goals two were scored by Dhyan Chand. In 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles, Indian team under the captainship of Lal Shah Bukhari again won the championship. India defeated America by 24-1 and thus set a world record. Nine out of 24 goals were scored by Dhyan Chand. From then on USA stopped playing Hockey. It is believed that Dhyan Chand used to practice on the railway tracks by keeping the ball on one track and playing with it till 1 or 2 km without letting the ball fall off the track.
1936 Olympic- Berlin:
In 1936 Olympic was held in Berlin, Germany first time under Dhyan chand’s captaincy . There were 25 thousand people in the stadium to experience the thrill of Dhyan Chand vs Germany.
The great dictator of the world Adolf Hitler was present in the ground and he couldn’t believe the reality which was happening in front of him. Germany totally failed to control one person. India defeated Germany by 4-1 and clinch the gold for continous third time. 1936 Olympic win is much more special to us as the captain Dhyan Chand removed his footwear and played barefooted hockey. He couldn’t let the discomfort of playing with shoes in wet ground take away his team’s victory.
After his stellar performance in the Berlin Olympics 1936, German dictator Adolf Hitler Hitler was mesmerized and invited Dhyan Chand at his palace for dinner and offered Dhyan Chand the position of colonel’s rank in the German Military and also the German citizenship. But our magician politely declined the offer for the love of his own country – India
He was often called the magician with a hockey stick because once he gets the ball he dribbles it with his stick, It would seem like ball has been attached itself to the stick. The Netherlands authorities once broke his hockey stick to check if there was a magnet inside.
In a span of 22 years Dhyan chand scored close to 400 goals in his international career spanning from 1926 to 1948.In 1956, at the age of 51, he retired from the army with the rank of Major. The Government of India awarded Major Dhyan Chand, the third highest (then second highest) civilian honor of Padma Bhushan in 1956 and as such remains the only hockey player to have been awarded this honor.
Major Dhyan Chand passed away in the year 1979, one year before India won its eighth Olympic gold medal in field hockey. Since then, the Indian team has been a pale shadow of the glory years and to some extent have resembled a tragedy when compared with their illustrious past.
One of the greatest sports achievers of all time, he is sadly the forgotten hero who is not much known to the younger generation today.
Remembering the legend on his birth anniversary….!!!