1936 Berlin Olympics, Dhyan Chand led to Hat-trick of Hockey Golds

1936 Berlin Olympics was third and last for great Dhyan Chand he had decided to retire. At 31 years of age, he had decided to hang his boots. The magician was playing Olympics for last time and would have wanted to sign out with a hat-trick of gold medals. Dhyan Chand was at peak of its powers and was duly handed over the captaincy. The warmup games did not go according to preparation and a 1-4 loss to Germany did create uneasiness. In a team meeting, it was decided to bring Ali Shah, who later went on to play for Pakistan, post-partition.

India dominated the group stages and won all 3 matches. They scored a total of 20 goals without conceding. India was up against France in semis and blanked them 10-0. They were facing Germany in the final. India had won the previous two and looked all set for third Gold. Final was played on 20 Aug 1936. Just before the start of play the Indian team refuse to perform the Nazi Salute. America was the second country that also refused. India conceded the first goal of Berlin Olympics but scored 8 times to give a good thrashing to Germans. There was a bit of drama also as in a collision with German goalkeeper Tito Warnholtz, who had a forgettable game, Dhyan Chand lost a tooth.

Taking medical attention quickly and then coming back to the field he told his players to teach them a lesson by not scoring. Indian players would take the ball upto D of Germans but would then backpedal. Dhyan Chand scored close to dozen goals in Olympics as did his brother Roop Singh. It is heard that he was offered German citizenship and post of colonel but he denied. Dhyan Chand proved himself as the best centre forward but also a good leader. His performances drew worldwide attention on Indian hockey.