Remembering India’s greatest sports persons on National Sports Day
Every year we celebrate August 29 as National Sports Day. The day which marks the birthday of the magician of hockey – Dhyan Chand – encourages the nation to inculcate physical activity and sports in day-to-day life. Sports not only keeps us fit but also helps us stay disciplined and calm. Let’s see a few greatest sports personalities of India…
Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket)
Cricket and Sachin Tendulkar go hand-in-hand. One is incomplete without the other. Also, known as the God of cricket (fans sometimes call him only God!), there was a time when the country would lose all hope of winning as soon as Sachin would return to the pavilion. With numerous records to his name, even today after his retirement, Sachin stays on the pedestal of one of the greatest cricketers ever born in the world!
Dhyan Chand (Hockey)
Also known as “The Wizard”, Dhyan Chand is considered as one of the greatest players the sport of field hockey has ever seen. His ball control, his positions and his strikes are remembered even today though he bid goodbye to the game more than 70 years ago. Dhyan Chand is best remembered for his gold medals at the Olympics in 1928, 1932 and 1936. He scored more than 400 goals during the course of his career.
Abhinav Bindra (Shooting)
Though Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore created history by winning silver in Olympics, it was Abhinav Bindra who brought the ultimate joy to the nation by winning the gold in Men’s 10m Air Rifle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming the first Indian to win the yellow metal in an individual event.
Milkha Singh (Athletics)
You all must have watched Farhan Akhtar’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag film. Milkha Singh, also known as the Flying Sikh, became the true sportstar of Free India. He won four gold medals in the Asian Games, the race for which Singh is best remembered is his fourth-place photo finish at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Sushil Kumar (Wrestling)
During the 2012 London Olympics, Sushil Kumar achieved something no Indian had achieved in the past. After his bronze medal exploits in Beijing four years ago, he went a step further and clinched the silver medal in wrestling for India; becoming the first and the only Indian to win two individual medals in the Olympics.
Viswanathan Anand (Chess)
He’s considered as one of the greatest chess players in the world. Viswanathan Anand became India’s first chess Grandmaster in 1988 and the undisputed world champion in the mid-2000s. He has inspired millions of youngsters to choose chess as their sport. He was honoured with Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to the sports world.
Leander Paes (Tennis)
With eight doubles and an equal number of mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, no doubt Leander Paes is considered as one of the best doubles and mixed doubles players. He also became the oldest man to win a Grand Slam when he and partner Martina Hingis won the mixed doubles crown at the Australian Open in Melbourne in 2015.
Prakash Padukone (Badminton)
You already know a famous Padukone –Deepika. But her father has been earning much more admiration and love since decades. Prakash Padukone put India on the map by triumphing at the Commonwealth Games in 1978 and the All England Open Championships in 1982. He was a torch bearer to the present crop of badminton players who are doing well right now and winning accolades for the country.
Mary Kom (Boxing)
A five-time world champion and an Olympic bronze medalist at the 2012 London Games, MC Mary Kom has been the epitome of courage, someone who fought against prejudices in India and rose to become the best in a sport dominated by men. Her great story got another shot in the arm last year when she won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Incheon, becoming the first Indian woman boxer to do so.
Pankaj Advani (Billiards and Snooker)
Pankaj Advani is the 15-time World Billiards and Snooker champion — the only man on earth who has won world titles in all formats of both billiards and snooker. He is also a two-time Asian Games gold medalist, winning his medals in successive events at Doha and Guangzhou in 2006 and 2010 respectively.
PT Usha (Athletics)
The sports sector would be incomplete without mention of PT Usha. Much before the sports persons became sports stars, PT Usha was the most loved athlete of our country. She is considered as the greatest female athlete to have emerged from the country. Winner of numerous medals, she is the epitome of what India can achieve despite its many limitations.