India has won 28 medals in all the Olympic games combined. Since its first appearance in 1900, India has been part of all the editions of the Games. The first medal came in 1900 itself. Norman Pritchard brought two silver medals from the games in Paris.
It was a winning start for India (known as British India) but the nation had to wait 28 years for the next medal. However, it was worth the wait, as India bagged its first gold medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
Hockey was the sport that presented India with its first-ever gold. The following years after that led to the rise of Indian hockey and domination of the Indian team at the Summer Olympics. Here's a detailed article about India's medal history at the Summer Olympics in Hockey.
Indian Hockey team's history at the Olympics
India has bagged a total of 11 medals at the Olympics. They are the most successful team in this sport. Of the 11 medals won by India, 8 are gold.
1928 Amsterdam Olympics
India bagged gold in Amsterdam by beating the home side The Netherlands 3-0 in the final. Hockey legend Dhyan Chand scored thrice in the final to give the country a gold medal. This triumph helped India set the tone for a great future in the sport of hockey.
Overall, it was Dhyan Chand who was the star of the tournament. He scored 14 out of the 29 goals India netted throughout the tournament. The Indian defense on the other end went throughout the 1928 Games without conceding a single goal.
1932 Los Angeles Olympics
This was one of the relatively easy gold medals for the Indian team. They thrashed Japan 11-1. The next big triumph came against the host nation USA. The Indian team absolutely scorched the Americans. India beat them 24-1 on their way to a second gold in hockey in the Olympics. Dhyanchand and Roop Singh scored 25 of the 35 goals at the Olympics.
1936 Berlin Olympics
The Indian team dominated on their way to the finals. But in the finals, they were up against hosts Germany. India had previously lost a practice match to them. They didn't let that affect them in the finals. After scoring one goal at halftime. The Indian team went all out in the second. The match ended in an 8-1 win for the Indians. Which helped them grab their 3rd Gold medal in hockey.
Overall, India scored 38 goals in the 1936 Olympics. They hammered France 10-0, Japan 9-0 and USA 7-0 on their way to the finals.
1948 London Olympics
After 12 long years, the Olympics returned in 1948. Once again India dominated every team on their way to the finals. They were up against a Great Britain side in the final. GB had won two Olympic medals previously. But this time it was India who prevailed. They thrashed GB 4-0 in the finals to claim their 4th Olympic gold medal.
It was the first gold medal for India as an independent country at the Olympics. Ironically, their win in the final came against their erstwhile ruler, Great Britain.
1952 Helsinki Olympics
India eased past all their opponents and made it to another Olympic finals. This time they were to face The Netherlands. The match ended in a 6-1 win for the Indian team. Balbir Singh had a magical performance that day. He scored 5 goals past the Dutch defense to help India to its 5th Hockey gold.
1956 Melbourne Olympics
Just like every year, India scored a lot of goals on their road to the finals. They met Germany in the semifinals, who proved to be a tough opponent. However, India managed to edge past them with a 1-0 win. In the final that year, India faced arch-rivals Pakistan. The match ended in a 1-0 win for the Indians. But this ignited a huge hockey rivalry between the two countries for years to come.
1960 Rome Olympics
India's gold rush at the Olympics ended in Rome. After thrashing all their opponents on the way to the finals, they fell short in the gold medal match. India faced Pakistan in the final and after their win in 1956, the Indians were being backed to retain their Olympic gold.
However, Pakistan got the perfect revenge as they managed to beat the Indians 1-0. The defeat in the final was an unfamiliar feeling for India. They had to settle for the silver in Rome.
1964 Tokyo Olympics
India bounced back in style after their silver win in Rome. They eased past opponents in the early stages to set up another final against Pakistan. The gold medal came back to India, as they beat their Asian rivals once again to clinch their 7th Olympic gold.
1968 Mexico Olympics
For the first time since 1928 India was not part of a field hockey final. They lost in the semifinals to Australia. It set them up for a bronze medal match against West Germany, which they won.
1972 Munich Olympics
Once again India had to settle for bronze. They were defeated in the semifinals by Pakistan. India won the bronze medal match against The Netherlands to clinch their second ever bronze at the Olympics in field hockey
1976 Montreal Olympics
India had been part of the knockout rounds of field hockey at the Olympics from 1928 to 1972. However, in 1976, the Indians finally faltered. They were knocked out early and failed to land a podium finish. It was an unexpected turn of events for one of the favorites.
1980 Moscow Olympics
It was another arch of redemption for India. They had to face some tough opponents in their journey to the finals but a determined Indian side never lost hope. They defeated Spain in the final to win their 8th gold medal in hockey. It was their final podium finish in an Olympic event.
Can the Indian team break their 41-year wait at the Tokyo Olympics this year?