In news- Khel Ratna Award was renamed after hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand recently.
About Khel Ratna Award-
- This award is the highest sporting honour in the country.
- The Khel Ratna award was instituted in 1991-1992 and the first recipient was Chess legend Viswanathan Anand.
- It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- Khel Ratna award comes with a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.
- The recipient(s) is/are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and is honoured for their “spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years” at international level.
- The committee evaluates the performances of a sportsperson at various International events like Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games.
- As per the revised criteria, the performance over a period of four years is considered for the award(earlier it was one year).
- The name of the award has been changed from Rajiv Gandhi to Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award.
Major Dhyan Chand
- He was born in Allahabad on 29th August 1905
- Major Dhyan Chand, a field hockey player, played international hockey from 1926 to 1949, scroing over 400 goals in his career.
- He was part of the Olympic team that won gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.
- Popularly known as The Wizard or The Magician of hockey for his superb ball control, Chand played internationally from 1926 to 1949; he scored 570 goals in 185 matches.
- His autobiography is ‘Goal’.
- He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1956 and his birthday on 29 August is celebrated as National Sports Day in India every year.
- Early 1920s: Is in the 1st Brahmin Regiment of the British Army. Learns hockey from Bale Tewari. Represents the United Provinces in an inter-provincial championship.
- Between 1922 and 1926, Chand exclusively played army hockey tournaments and regimental games
- 1928: Leads Indian team to the Olympics in Amsterdam. Bags a gold.
- 1932: Gold again at the Los Angeles Olympics.
- 1936: A hat trick at the Berlin Olympics.
- 1947: At age 42, scores 61 goals during tour of East Africa. It confirms that were it not for the war he would have won two more gold medals.
- 1979: Dies in Delhi.
Awards in his name
- Apart from the Khel Ratna award, the country’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports is known as the Dhyan Chand Award. It was instituted in 2002.