August 29: National Sports Day
The National Sports Day (NSD) is celebrated every year in India on 29th of August to mark the birth anniversary of legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand, who was known as ‘The Wizard’ or ‘The Magician’ of hockey for his superb ball control.
About Major Dhyan Chand
The legendary hockey player was born on 29 August 1905 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. He is widely considered as the greatest field hockey player of all time. He had started playing hockey only after joining the Army at the age of 16.
He won gold medals in Olympics for India in the years 1928, 1934 and 1936. He scored over 400 goals in his career, from 1926 to 1948. It is believed that after India defeated Germany in the 1936 Olympics final by 8-1, Adolf Hitler offered him a senior post in the German Army, to which Chand refused.
His autobiography “Goal!” was published by Sport & Pastime (Madras) in 1952. The Government of India (GoI) awarded him the 3rd highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan in 1956. Beside this, the most noted memorial for him is the Major Dhyan Chand Award, which is the highest award for lifetime achievement in sports and games in India.
It has been awarded annually from 2002 to sporting figures that not only contribute through their performance but also contribute to the sport after their retirement.
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