Prithipal Singh Chandi – The gem of the Kamboj Community
“Three-time Olympics medalist Prithipal Singh Chandi Kamboj”
Prithipal Singh Chandi was born on Jan 28th, 1932 at Nankana Sahab ( Pakistan) the holly land of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He took his early education in Nankana Sahab where his father S Wadhwa Singh was a school teacher.
After Partition of 1947, Chandi family moved to a village in Patiala district of Indian Punjab. Prithipal completed his MSC Agriculture degree in 1956 from Agriculture college Ludhiana with distinction. Apart from his study, he was the captain of the college and University Field Hockey teams. He was posted as a lecturer when the college was Amalgamated in the newly created Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana. In the same year, he joined as an Inspector in Punjab Police and started playing Hockey for Punjab police in various National and International tournaments.
In 1961 First-Ever Arzuna Award to a Hockey player in India was conferred to him by Indian President Sh Rajinder Pershad.
During the 1964 Tokyo ( Japan ) Olympics, Prithipal scored 11 out of India’s 22 goals to win Gold Medal in this Olympics. He Scored the highest no of goals as a single player.
In 1967 he was awarded Padam Shri by the Indian President Janab Zakur Hussain.
In 1968 Rome ( Mexico ) Olympics, he was the top scorer to win Bronze Medal for India in this Olympics.
He served as the Chairman of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) Selection Committee.
He was the Executive Member of the National Institute of Sports ( NIS ) Patiala.
He was a member of the Governing Body of Laxmi Bai National College of Physical Education Gwalior.
He accompanied the Indian National Hockey team as an Observer in many International Tournaments.
It was the Black Day of 20th May 1983 in the History of Indian Hockey when S Prithipal Singh Chandi was Shot dead in broad daylight in the Campus of Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana by the students of Extremist group. He was serving as Director Sports and Dean Students Welfare at that time. Many say that there was a conspiracy behind this as his murder mystery is still Unsolved.
In 2015, a film was released based on the Biography of Prithipal Singh Chandi.
It was a Great loss for Kamboj Bradari as he was a Role Model for our Youngsters and Motivation factors for the upcoming Sportsmen. He is gone and gone forever but his Marvelous Journey as legend Hockey Player will inspire us to do better in our life.
Surat Singh Momi, Senior Judo Coach
Sports Authority of India
Black Belt Diploma from Kodokan Judo University Tokyo ( Japan )