New Delhi: Birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand is celebrated as National Sports Day in India.
The hockey wizard is widely regarded as the greatest athlete India has ever produced.
As the country celebrates his 110th birth anniversary, here are 10 interesting facts about this once-in-a-lifetime sportsman.
1) Dhyan Singh was called Dhyan Chand by fellow players as he practiced hockey at night under the moon ('chand' in Hindi) light.
2) At 16, Dhyan Chand joined the Indian Army. He retired at 56 with the rank of Major.
3) Dhyan Chand scored 14 goals at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, finishing as the leading goal-scorer at the event.
4) In a career spanning from 1926-1948, Dhyan Chand scored over 1000 goals.
5) National Hockey stadium in Delhi was renamed as Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in 2002 in his honor.
6) When India beat USA 24-1 in the 1932 Summer Olympics hockey final, Dhyan Chand scored 8 goals, while his brother Roop Singh netted 10. The duo scored a combined 25 goals at the tournament.
7) Impressed by Dhyan Chand's hockey wizardry, Adolf Hitler even offered him German citizenship.
8) Authorities in Netherlands broke Dhyan Chand's hockey stick to inspect if there was a magnet inside it.
9) Dhyan Chand led India to three Olympic gold medal wins in 1928, 1932 and 1936.
10) Dhyan Chand was given the Padma Bhushan award in 1956. However, he is yet to be awarded the Bharat Ratna by the Indian government.