National Sports Day: Countrymen celebrate legendary Major Dhyan Chand’s birthday

People across India observed the National Sports Day today. The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Indian hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand.

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sports personalities to Hockey India, all remembered Major Dhyan Chand on his 116th birth anniversary.

Adding to the celebration of National Sports Dday, Saswat Ranjan Sahoo of Odisha, has surprised the world with his unique sculptural skill. He crafted small sculptures out of match sticks that enlightens the games such as boxing, badminton, golf, cricket, javelin throw, etc.

Sahoo said that it took him about two days and 690 matchsticks to make all the models.

Being a legendary figure in Indian and world hockey, Major Dhyan Chand is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. He won three Olympic gold medals for the country, in 1928, 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics respectively.

In the era when India dominated field hockey, Dhyan Chand was completely dedicated to his craft and started his hockey career with the regimental team of the British Indian Army. According to sources, the reason behind his name being Dhyan ‘Chand’ is due to his late-night hockey practices that he attempted under the moonlight after completing his regimental duties in the day.

Major Dhyan Chand was also known as The Wizard of hockey because of his contribution to the game. He is the only hockey player to have a commemorative postage stamp and the First-Day Cover in his honour. Therefore, the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports, a national sporting honour is named after this hockey legend.

As the legend continues to serve as an inspiration to many hockey players, the national stadium in New Delhi is named after him as well as earlier this month, the Khel Ratna award was also renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. The award was earlier known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

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