Bollywood’s ‘Khiladi Kumar’, Akshay is impressing one and all with his interesting choice of scripts that drive inspiration from real life and now, he is all set to bring the story of India’s first Olympic Gold medal to silver screen. His upcoming movie ‘Gold‘, is a period drama which is inspired from India’s first victory as an independent nation at 1948 Olympics.
India first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900 under the British. Its first athlete was Norman Pritchard who won two medals(both Silver). India first sent a team to the Summer Olympic Games in 1920 and has participated in every summer games since then. However, very few know about India’s historic triumph that included the Indian hockey team into an elite league of the global teams that dominated their respective sports.
Hockey made its Olympic debut at London in 1908 and this was when the sport had barely taken root in India, with only few clubs in Bombay and Calcutta organising tournaments. The first meeting of the India Hockey Federation (IHF) was held on September 1925 in Gwalior the election of Col Bruce Turnbull as president and NS Ansari as secretary.
Thanks to the efforts of this newly formed organisation that the Indian hockey made its first presence at 1928 Olympics at Amsterdam. And with an amazing debut, the team won its maiden gold medal by beating hosts Netherlands without conceding a single goal. Interestingly, the tournament also gave birth to a legend- Dhyan Chand who scored 14 goals, including a stunning hat-trick, in the final. Dhyan Chand is known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning three Olympic gold medals (1928, 1932, and 1936) in field hockey, during an era where India was the most dominant team in Hockey. His teammates nicknamed him ‘Chand’.
Such was Dhyan Chand’s magic that when the team returned from Amsterdam, thousands of people gathered at the Bombay Docks to get the glimpse of their heroes. This exact contrast to their departure as when the team was leaving only three persons was there to see them off at the Docks. And this was just the beginning as in their next two outing at Olympics in 1932 and 1936, the team grabbed two consecutive gold medals to cement its position as the undisputed champion of men’s hockey.
India last won hockey Gold at Moscow but mention Olympic hockey to any hockey aficionado in the world and the first nation that comes to mind is India, thanks to the amazing record created by out true heroes.