Reliving the Golden Period of Indian Hockey:1928 to 1980


Year 1928. Indian hockey team makes its debut in the Olympics. As India was a part of British colony, no one had any massive expectations from the team. However, what happened next left a bold and permanent mark on the landscape of field hockey.India won its first ever Olympic gold as the Indian hockey team beat the Netherlands 3-0 in the finals. The Indian players found the net 29 times and Major Dhyan Chand was the top goal-scorer in the tournament with 14 goals.In 1932, India entered the tournament as champions. True to expectations, the Indian hockey team ran rout in the tournament. They scored 35 goals in just three matches as they claimed the gold for the second consecutive olympics.India beat the hosts, the United States of America 24-1 in the finals.Year 1936. The olympics were scheduled in Berlin. Adolf Hitler had made it his personal mission to ensure that German supremacy was established by the end of the games.On the other hand, India were led by “the wizard”, Major Dhyan Chand. As many predicted,India met Germany in the finals of 1936 Olympics. The Indian team defeated Germany by a massive margin of 8-1. A humiliated Hitler could not witness his team’s devastation and left the stadium in the middle of the match.Year 1948. World War II had ended and the Olympic games had resumed. The Indian team was to feature in the Olympics for the first time as the part of a newly-independent nation.India came out on the top, beating Britain 4-0 in the finals.Indian hockey’s merry time at the Olympics continued in 1952 and 1956, and they beat Netherlands and Pakistan respectively.India failed to win the gold for the first time in eight olympics in 1960. India lost to Pakistan 1-0 in the finals and had to be content with a silver medal. However, four years later, India reclaimed the gold in 1964 when they beat Pakistan 1-0 in the finals.India’s last gold in the hockey came in 1980 as India beat Spain 4-3 in a thrilling final.Since 1980, Indian hockey has been a shadow of its former self. Will the current squad be able to bring the golden days of Indian hockey back?

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