National Sports Day 2020: 10 interesting facts about the Hockey Wizard Major Dhyan Chand

National Sports Day 2020: Major Dhyan Chand is considered as one of the best hockey players of all time. He had an extraordinary talent for scoring goals, due to which India won hockey gold medals in the Olympic Games of 1928, 1932, and 1936. His era is called the "golden period" of Indian hockey.

He is called the "Hockey Wizard" due to his excellent control over the ball. Major Dhyan Chand announced his retirement from hockey in the year 1948. He had scored more than 400 goals in his entire international career.

The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honor, in the year 1956. His birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day in India on 29 August and on this date, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award are given by the President. Hockey magician Dhyan Chand's autobiography is titled "Goal", published in 1952.

National Sports Day 2020: History, Significance, and Key Facts

10 interesting facts about Major Dhyan Chand

1. Dhyan Singh joined the Indian Army at the age of only 16 and started playing hockey there. Since Dhyan Singh practiced during the night, his fellow players started addressing him with the nickname "Chand".

2. Once while playing a match, Dhyan Chand was unable to score a single goal against the opposition team. After failing several times, he complained to the match referee about the measurement of the goal post, and surprisingly, it was found that the official width of the goal post was not in accordance with international rules.

3. After India's first match at the Berlin Olympics of 1936, crowds of people started to gather at the hockey ground to watch Dhyan Chand's magical hockey. The headline of a German newspaper was: 'There is now a magic show in the Olympic campus.' The next day, the streets of Berlin were strewn with posters, with the words "Go to the hockey stadium and see the magic of the Indian magician".

4. According to a legend, when Hitler saw Dhyan Chand's magical game against Germany, he offered him to settle in Germany and gave the rank of colonel in his army, but Dhyan Chand smiled and rejected the offer.

5. During a match with Germany at the 1936 Olympics, Dhyan Chand's tooth was broken when he collided with Germany's fiery goalkeeper "Tito Varnholt". Returning to the field after first-aid, Dhyan Chand advised the German players not to score goals for the purpose of "teaching a lesson" to the German players. The Indian players repeatedly take the ball to the goalpost of Germany and again bring the ball back to their court.

6. In 1935, when the Indian hockey team was in Australia, the great cricket player Don Bradman and the greatest hockey player Dhyan Chand met each other in Adelaide. After watching Dhyan Chand's game, Don Bradman remarked, "He scores goals in hockey in the same way that runs are scored in cricket."

7. The residents of Vienna (Austria) had installed a statue of him with four hands and four hockey sticks indicating his control and mastery over the ball. However, this can also be an exaggeration because at present there is neither any such idol nor any documents related to it.

8. Once in the Netherlands, the authorities broke Dhyan Chand's hockey stick due to the possibility of having magnet inside the hockey stick.

9. Although Dhyan Chand played many memorable matches he considered the final match of the 1933 "Beighton Cup", which was played between "Calcutta Custom" and "Jhansi Heroes", considered it as his best match.

10. In the Summer Olympics of 1932, India defeated the United States and Japan 24–1 and 11–1 respectively. Of these 35 goals, Dhyan Chand scored 12 goals while his brother Roop Singh scored 13 goals. Due to this spectacular performance, both brothers came to be known as "Hockey Twins".

These are 10 interesting facts about The Wizard of Hockey Major Dhyan Chand on the occasion of National Sports Day. 

The article is the translation of the article and so the credit goes to the author.

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