“Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lifts the World Cup after 28 years…” If your heartbeat doesn’t rev up faster than a Ferrari every time you hear this sentence, you may be deaf, or a heart patient. For, no Indian can ever forget the thrill reverberated in the air that night. Aficionados of the sport would probably rate it as the most glorious moment in the history of Indian cricket. What about the rest of them though? Here we bring to you some of the most beautiful, historic and nostalgic moments in the history of Indian sport…
1951-1962: The Golden Decade of Indian Football
The current Indian team may be languishing at a sub-par 97 in the FIFA rankings, but trust us, days were so much better once upon a time. During the 50’s, our team stood in the top 20 in global rankings! We may be having difficulty in defeating the smallest of opposition today, but back then, our guys won us the 51 as well as 62 Asian Games. And almost an Olympic medal as well! It’s a shame we couldn’t play the World cup due to lack of resources.
1952 – Khashaba Jadhav, the first Indian to win an individual Olympic medal for India
Born in a family of wrestlers, Jadhav won a bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics and became the first Indian to win a medal at this platform. Although not remembered by many now, it was him who set the tone to inspire generations to come and put India on the Olympic map.
The Olympic Gold Rush
Did you know, India won straight gold in all Olympic hockey games, from 1928-1956? Undisputed champs of the hockey world, these folks provide the biggest sense of pride everytime one utters “hockey” in India. Truly one of the most glorifying, and un-matchable pieces of history ever!
Kapil’s Devils – 1983
The stuff of legends. Against a rampaging West Indies, India picked up the trophy for the first ever time. It inspired the entire current generation of cricketers who were then only old enough to be roaming around in diapers at home. Suffice to say, the win ushered the sport into the interest of an entire nation and laid the roots that Dhoni & co reap today.
2000 – Viswanathan Anand wins the World Chess Championship
Think chess. Who is the first person to come to your mind? If it’s not Vishy, then you are no Indian. Vishwananthan Anand alone ensured the spotlight fell on a sport that most people don’t even consider to be one. Grandmaster Vishy won the FIDE world chess championship for the first time in 2000, the first of many more to come. He later went on to beat other renowned masters of the game such as Gary Kasparov and Vladmir Kramnik, cementing his position as India’s pride, the best in the world.
2007 – Six sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh
Stuart Broad would be in a position to explain this better! The entire cricketing nation broke into a jubilant frenzy after the most brutal display of power by the then-most-celebrated cricketer Yuvraj Singh. 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 went the balls to all parts of the ground even as the entire nation was introduced to the delight of such a sight for the first time ever in history. This is one memory that is never going to get old or faded…
The Mary Kom Show of strength
Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom captured everyone’s heart with her first Asian Games gold medal in the women’s 48-51 kg boxing. The victory was even more special for her as she had returned to the ring after a break of two years in which she delivered her third baby. With every punch, Mary Kom has blown away any and all stereotypes surrounding women’s involvement in sports.
Pretty sure you have tons other references, anecdotes, experiences and so on. Go ahead, share it with us! Never a dull moment in a sport after all… JAI HO!