8 MEDALS WHICH TAKE US DOWN THE MEMORY LANE
Amsterdam 1928 – 1st Olympic Medal & Magic Of Dhyan Chand
Rest Is History
We Want An Olympic Comeback, Now
How easy it is to maneuver a ball and guide it into the opponent’s goal — of course with a stick? Think of Hockey, then. Also, think of THE STICK, a long one with a curve — J-shaped essentially. And when you think of Hockey, it has to be Indian Hockey, actually.
Aren’t we proud of the magic of Hockey wizard Dhyan Chand and the heroes who made India shine from time to time all these years; though we did miss out on an Olympic berth in 2008 having failed to make it through the qualifying tournament in Chile.
Before that, we never missed the Olympics – bagging 11 medals in all, including EIGHT GOLDS and an unbeaten run from 1928 to 1956. For the record, we won in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles), 1936 (Berlin), 1948 (London), 1952 (Helsinki), 1956 (Melbourne), 1964 (Tokyo) and 1980 (Moscow) – such an illustrious era in the history of Hockey.
Now, as Indian hockey returns to its roots i.e. the Olympics, having crushed France 8-1 in February 2012, at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, I am emotionally charged.
Hockey is the national sport of India; and it’s pleasure to share that the Indian men’s Hockey team is the most successful field Hockey team in Olympic history with 8 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals. Why don’t we then play and promote hockey with euphoria!
As for me, when I think of Hockey … I see a green field, white balls, Hockey stick, goal post, goalies, clashes, coaches, strategies, early hour to late evening practices, cross country runs, dodges, war footing dedication, 11 players (and also the substitute) and a mind blowing audience full of undying enthusiasm.
Three decades ago, I used to stand in my school field and see the boys team play for hours and I would clap for every goal. What fun it used to be! Sadly, modern schools do not encourage the game, neither do they produce some great players. There is not much emphasis to play Hockey at other forums also, as is the case with reigning rulers Cricket and Football.
How beautiful it is to watch the players in action and their colourful jerseys… sweat… dust blowing in the wind… young boys pushing shoulder to shoulder… screaming… sticks clashing with each other… penalty corners… the ball squirming in the grass, mud, players and the goal… and then the triumph… shining with the smiles!!! And I also see the 8 shining gold medals and the team with the medals.
In 2012, Team India has done it again. We have triumphed by qualifying for the Olympics and we shall be winners. Why not? The Indian team is looking best, fit, talented and there’s strong possibility for the boys to end the 32-year medal drought.
So here we come LONDON.
Hold your breath. VICTORY SHALL BE OURS
Tailpiece: When Hitler came to know about the magic of Dhyan Chand, he expressed his desire to meet him. On being informed by the German Chancery, Dhyan Chand could not sleep the entire night and the next morning the Hockey legend found himself before Hitler. Hitler took a look at the sub-standard canvas shoes of Dhyan Chand and enquired “what else you do, when not playing hockey?”
Dhyan Chand: I am in Army.
Hitler: What is your rank?
Dhyan Chand: I am Lance Nayak
Hitler: Come over to Germany and I will make you a Field Marshal.
Dhyan Chand:Indiais my Country, and I am fine there.