National Sports Day 2022: Relieving Major Dhyan Chands Greatness On His 117th Birth Anniversary

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National Sports Day 2022: Relieving Major Dhyan Chand's Greatness On His 117th Birth Anniversary

Celebrated on the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand, the National Sports Day is also a timely reminder for the need for sporting activities in life.

Officially declared in 2012, National Sports Day is celebrated in India on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey hero Major Dhyan Chand. Dhyan Chand, a legend in Indian and international hockey, won many victories at the Summer Olympics in 1928, 1932, and 1936. He was instrumental in helping India complete its first hat-trick of Olympic gold medals.

Dhyan Chand-The Wizard

Often referred to as "The Wizard" for his incredible hockey skills like ball control and exceptional goal-scoring abilities, Dhyan scored over 400 goals in his career from 1926 to 1948. He earned the nickname "Chand" as he practised his sport with utmost dedication at night after his regular daytime tasks were over.

The hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand was born on August 29, 1905, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, to a Rajput Kushwaha family, Sharadha and Rameshwar Singh. Mool Singh and Roop Singh were among his two brothers; the latter was also a hockey player. As an Indian field hockey team member, his brother brought laurels to the country at the Olympic Games of 1932 and 1936 by bringing gold medals.

Chand's father, Rameshwar Singh, served in the British Indian Army, where he was a hockey team member. Dhyan Chand could not continue schooling as the family had to move to numerous cities due to his father's army transfers. While he joined the Indian army in 1922, Chand rose to prominence during his tour in New Zealand with the army team in 1926.

Later Life

After retiring from the army from a major's rank in 1956, the Indian government awarded Dhyan Chand with Padma Bhushan, the country's third-highest civilian honour. His son, Ashok Kumar Singh, was also a member of India's Olympic field hockey teams in the 1970s and scored the winning goal in the 1975 World Cup championship.

To mark his birthday, India established National Sports Day in 2012, honouring the sporting legend. Apart from this, the day helps create awareness about the importance of sporting activities in everyday life, focusing on fitness and health. The President of India bestows esteemed honours on this day, including the Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards, and Dhyan Chand Awards, to famous sports luminaries. Dhyan Chand passed away on December 3, 1979.

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