1928- Gold medal at the Olympics, held in Amsterdam
1932- Gold medal at the Olympics, held in Los Angeles
1936- Gold medal at the Olympics, held in Berlin
1956- Bestowed with India's third highest civilian award "Padma Bhushan" by the Government of India
Major Dhyan Chand, the Indian Hockey legend is well-known for his goal-scoring ability that made him earn three gold medals at three consecutive Olympic events, creating history. The iconic personality has served both in Army as well as at the hockey field throughout his life. Widely considered as the magician of hockey, the man had scored around 1000 goals in his active career which is a record feat.
Dhyan Chand was born on 29th August1905, in the city of "Sangam"- Allahabad to a British Indian Army employee Sameshwar Dutt Singh and Sharadha Singh. Due to his father’s frequent official transfers, he was not able to keep pace with the academics and had to drop down studies after schooling for just six years. The boy was initially interested in wrestling, but after joining the Indian Army at the age of 16 got more inclined towards field hockey. He used to undergo Army training during the daytime and practised hockey in the moonlight.
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Soon his perseverance paid him a favourable outcome as he was selected in the Indian Army hockey team for New Zealand tour in 1926. Dhyan Chand left everyone spell-bound with his eye-catching performance, dominating 18 matches out of 21 with his team. In 1928, he earned gold for the nation at the Olympic event, held in Amsterdam. Dhyan Chand's speed and accuracy made him earn the title of "The Wizard" of hockey. He was so accurate and perfect in hockey that he could even sense if there were any flaws in the measurement of the field.
With his team, Dhyan Chand repeated the victory again at the 1932 Olympics Games, defeating the USA by 24-1 and Japan by 11-1 and thus clinching a gold medal at the event. Undoubtedly, he had an unparalleled capability to blow the competition away. Dhyan Chand’s contribution is commendable in bringing India to the top-notch position at the international hockey events. In 1935, Australian batsman Sir Donald Bradman remarked him, "He scores goals like runs in cricket". There was even an airing that Adolf Hitler was so amazed by his skills that he offered him the post of Colonel in the German Army after watching his tremendous performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Dhyan Chand is one of the most successful captains of the Indian Hockey team. After his third consecutive win at the Olympics, Dhyan Chand played a vital role in the incredible victory of team India during an International tour, conquering 34 matches out of 37 with a contribution of 133 goals out of 338, scored by the team.
Even after bidding farewell from the field, Dhyan Chand served at his best to hockey by playing and guiding the budding stars under his tutelage. He took retirement from the Indian Army as a “Major” in the year 1956 and was also honoured with the third Indian civilian award "Padma Bhushan" by the Government of India for his sincere efforts in uplifting the sport of field hockey in India. Indeed, Dhyan Chand is regarded as the shining star of the hockey world that has been followed by many of the legendary people and also by the burgeoning stars. He will always lead the heart of hockey lovers as he used to lead the field in his times with his magical stick.