Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Tuesday, paid tribute to the late Hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand on the eve of National Sports Day, celebrated every year on August 29th. Anurag Thakur bowed down to a statue of Dhyan Chand, situated at the National Stadium in Delhi. The statue had a massive garland around its neck.
Born on August 29, 1905, in Allahabad (now Prayagraj), Uttar Pradesh, Dhyan Chand is widely regarded as the greatest Hockey player of all time. He was called 'Chand' meaning moon in Hindi, as he used to practice hockey after sunset when the moon was out. Dhyan Chand joined British Amry at a tender age of 16 and began playing in Army Hockey tournaments.
He received his first international exposure during New Zealand's tour of India in 1926, impressing everyone with his skills. However, it was during the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam that his moment of reckoning came, scoring 14 goals to lead India to their first Olympic gold. The 1936 Olympics in Berlin was another one of his Magnum Opus when he ushered India to another gold medal victory.
Significance of National Sports Day:
Every year on August 29th, India commemorates National Sports Day to mark Major Dhyan Chand's birth anniversary. The simple objective behind celebrating sports day is to create awareness among people about the benefits of sports and why one should take it up professionally.
National Sports Day in India is usually celebrated by recognizing the achievements of various sportspersons by giving them Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award), Dronacharya Award, Arjuna Award, and others