Chronicling India's hockey performances at the Olympics from Atlanta 1996 to London 2012
Indian hockey with its rich legacy and medals-laden history was behind every child's dream to wield a stick in the country colours.
An illustrious history
The sport of hockey has been a source of great joy and pride to Indians since as long back as we can remember. This one sport has always managed to unify this diverse country and has been an inspiration to the entire sporting community of the nation. Before being eclipsed somewhat by cricket in popularity, Indian hockey with its rich legacy and medals-laden history was every child’s dream to wield a stick in the country colours.
The Indian Men’s Hockey Team has been the most successful squad in the Olympics in terms of Gold Medals, notching up 8 pieces of the coveted yellow metal over the years, starting with the first one in the 1928 Amsterdam Games.
Although the era of Dhyan Chand and Leslie Claudius is sadly over, we still have enough reasons to hope from our boys in blue in the upcoming Rio Games. Our Golden Girls of Hockey are never too far behind, having qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games for the first time since 1980.
Here we take a look at the performance of Indian Hockey at the last five games:
1996 Atlanta Games
The qualifying tournament for the Atlanta Games was staged in Barcelona which saw one of the better performances put in by the lads. Up against big powers like the Dutch, the Brits and the Spanish, not did the Indian team remain unbeaten, but managed to thrash the Dutch 4-1, qualifying for the main games in the process with a few games to spare.
Hoping to continue in the same vein, India lost only to Argentina in the group stage, beating Korea, USA and eventual silver medalists Spain, and drawing to Germany and Pakistan. But the run ended in heartbreak as India failed to qualify for the medal round.
The Atlanta Games are still remembered lovingly in the Indian sports history, if not for hockey, but for Leander Paes’ individual Bronze Medal in Tennis.