An era in India's national game of hockey came to an end. Hockey great Balbir Singh Sr. is no more. The young generation of today may not know much about them, but they played an important role in winning the gold medal in the Olympics to India three times.
Balbir Singh has topped the Indian hockey. He has illuminated the name of India many times in all the matches. He is regarded as India's best center forward.
Defeating the British in the final match at the London Olympics in the year 1948 was a very proud moment of their life. However, why not the British who ruled India for two hundred years, defeating them on their land was no less than a gift.
After the victory, the tricolor was hoisted and when the tricolor was going up, I felt that I was also going up with that tricolor. Used to highlight Balbir ji scored a total of eight goals in the 1948 London Olympics. It was Azad Hindustan's first gold medal in hockey. After that Balbir Ji scored nine goals in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and got India a gold medal.
Balbir Ji not only created history by scoring five goals out of six against Holland in the finals of this Olympics but also made his name in the Guinness Book of World Records. He also played a decisive role in getting India a gold medal in hockey at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He had scored a total of five goals at the Melbourne Olympics.
After independence, Balbir Singh played a decisive role in getting Indian hockey five out of six gold medals. In the year 1957, Padma Shri was received by the then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad. He was the first player in the country to receive this civilian honor.
In 2015, Balbir Singh Sr. was awarded a check of Rs 30 lakh by the Hockey Federation of India, conferred with the Life Time Achievement Award, but he politely turned down the check. He said that this amount should be used for the development of hockey in India.
Such saints are rarely seen in today's society. Sardar Balbir Singh Sr. was a true warrior. Live for the country as long as she lives. Till the end of his life, he always inspired him while interacting with youth and sportsmen.
He wished that India should once again establish its supremacy in hockey and give India the gold in the Olympics. Today's Indian hockey team should make this dream their goal and bring gold medal for India, this will be a true tribute to them.