As the nation celebrated its 70th anniversary on 15 August, it also marked the 80th anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand's historic 1936 Olympic Gold Medal win with the Indian hockey team. An exhibition on Major Dhyan Chand was inaugurated by the Embassy of India in Berlin, Germany on the anniversary of his gold victory in the Berlin Olympics 1936.
The exhibition covered Major Dhyan Chand’s steps from his humble beginnings as a novice to his ultimate triumph in the Olympics, where he changed the course of the match in the second half as India were trailing 1-0 at halftime. He commanded respect from Adolf Hitler who was the ruler of the Germans back then and watching the match from the stands. He even offered him a major position in the German Army. A rare footage of the finals can also be watched here:
The German Gold medallists – Natascha and Florian Keller whose grandfather Erwin played for Germany in 1936, MPs and a close relative of Major Dhyan Chand inaugurated the exhibition. Natascha and her brother Florian had themselves won Gold medallists, both in hockey in the year 2004 and 2008 respectively. Moreover, Natascha was the flag bearer for Germany, the first women field hockey player to do so in the 2012 Olympics.
Among the memorabilia at the exhibition:
1) His Olympic coat
4) Many personal framed pictures
5) Original recordings of training sessions and the Olympic Final in Berlin 1936
6) Media coverage from German newspaper articles about the Indian team from the Olympics in Berlin
The pictures displayed in the exhibition include
1) The commemorative stamp issued by the postal department on 4 December, 1980.
2) Photograph of the 30-foot statue his fans have built atop a hill in his hometown of Jhansi
The Indian Embassy in Germany is located in Berlin. Off late, it has made sincere efforts to reach out to eminent sports personalities like holding a reception for ace shooter Abhinav Bindra last month. Moreover, the embassy also engaged with the Indian Para-Olympic contingent to give them the much-needed encouragement and now this exhibition on the life and times of the hockey maestro and wizard Major Dhyan Chand!Published 17 Aug 2016, 13:35 IST