Expressed deep condolence on demise of Balbir Singh Senior
Demands Bharat Ratan for him
Chandigarh, May 25
Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi expressed their deepest condolences on the demise of Balbir Singh Senior, who breathed his last on Monday morning in Mohali. The triple Olympic champion and World Cup-winning team manager had been battling for life since 8th May 2020.
Remembering his achievements as guiding light for youngsters, Rana Sodhi said that Balbir Singh Senior, winner of gold medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Games, was the most decorated Olympian in Indian sports history. He went onto coach the national team which won the bronze medal at the 1971 World Cup. He then helped India become world champions, managing the team at the 1975 World Cup. He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Under his captaincy, India scored 38 goals and conceded none on its way to the gold medal in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
“Today, we have not only lost our greatest iconic player but we have also lost ‘our guiding light’. He remained the greatest fan of the sport and was always there when we needed his advice. Hockey has lost its shining star and everyone belonging to sports arena is pained by this shocking news,” expressed Sports Minister.
He further added, “Balbir Singh Senior’s exemplary achievements and his enthusiasm for the sport will remain an example for generations to come. On behalf of the Punjab Sports Department, I express my deepest condolences to his family.”
Demanding Bharat Ratan for Balbir Singh Senior, Rana Sodhi informed that he was awarded the Padma Shri in 1957 and was conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award in 2014. One of the country’s all time greatest athletes, Balbir Singh Senior was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history. His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten.