Major Dhyan Chand, also Known as The Wizard or The Magician of hockey for his superb ball control, was an Indian field hockey player widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. He was known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning three Olympic gold medals, in 1928, 1932 and 1936, during an era where India dominated field hockey. His influence extended beyond these victories, as India won the field hockey event in seven out of eight Olympics from 1928 to 1964.
In august 29 is also the birthday of Major Dhyan Chand. August 29 of every year is remembered as the national Sports Day- the day in which the President of India gives away different sports awards like the Khel Ratna, Dronacharya Award, and the Arjuna Award to the deserving recipients.
Dhyan Chand was born on 29 August 1905 in Allahabad. He was the elder brother of another hockey player Roop Singh, and the son of Sharadha Singh and Sameshwar Singh. Dhyan Chand’s father was enlisted in the British Indian Army, and he played hockey for the army
Dhyan Chand was extremely popular the world over and people were eager to see the magician in action. During the Berlin games in 1936, before India’s match, there were several posters put across Berlin city that read- visit the hockey stadium to witness the hockey magician in action. Whenever India played, the stadium with a capacity of 20,000 used to be full of many disappointed fans returning home unable to get a ticket. In Berlin Olympics 1936, India defeated Germany 8-1. In all the matches Major Dhyan Chand scored 13 goals.
In his entire career, Major Dhyan Chand scored 570 goals from 185 matches from 1926- 1949. He brought home three Olympic gold medals – Amsterdam in 1928, Los Angeles in 1932, and Berlin in 1936. He scored 39 goals in all these Olympic games. His contribution to Indian hockey is so great that as a player, coach and selector he helped India win seven out of 8 Olympics from 1928- 1964.
The Government of India awarded Chand India’s third highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan in 1956.