A 40 year old hockey legend Mohammed Shahid passed away in Medanta hospital in Gurgaon today, after a brief illness.
Shahid, the Indian hockey player titled as one of the best dribblers of the World, was suffering from a serious lung disease. After spending around a month in hospital for treatment, his condition didn’t improve and lately, he had been in coma for a short period of time before his demise.
Talking about his life, Shahid was a famous hockey player. He was a part of the team that won gold medal in 1980 Moscow Olympics, silver at the 1982 Asian Games and bronze at the 1986 Asian games.
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Born in 14 April, 1960 in Varnasi, Uttar Pradesh, he soon gathered an interest for the game and made his first appearance in 1979 at the Junior World Cup in France. Soon, his performance and capabilities gave him a platform to be a part of the renowned Indian Team. He played his first game in senior team under the captaincy of Vasudevan Baskaran in a four- nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur. Though, the team couldn’t win, yet Mohammed Shahid performed remarkably well which caught the eyes of the World.
Mohammed Shahid had excellent dribbling and running skills and he represented the country in various Olympics and worldwide championships, for instance, he was the member of the Indian team at the Los Angeles Olympic games 1984, Seoul Olympic games 1988, London World cup Hockey Tournament 1986 and many more. Winning and losing didn’t matter, but his performance was always praise worthy.
It was not in the air that I referred him as a legend. Indeed, he was a true player and a legend. He started to play at the age of 19 years and within one year, he made a place in the Senior Premium Indian Hockey team, which is no easy. Some of his achievements are as follows:
- Best Forward of 1980 Champions Trophy
- Gold Medal in 1980 Moscow Olympic Games
- Member of Asian All-Star team in 1986
- Padma Shri in 1986
As an honour to his outstanding and amazing service in field of Hockey, he was awarded Arjuna Award in 1980-81, which is a highly respected award. His contribution in the game is immense.
Though, he was a marvellous player, people are unaware of him. That is the tragedy of India. We are crazy about cricket and only follow this game. I am not criticising this love, this is absolutely no reason of my disappointment. But, I want everyone to appreciate all sports and sportsmen. No sport is easy and at a level where one has won Olympics or World Championships, he must have the respect of fellow- beings for encouragement. India lacks in sports field, all due to unfair treatment and lack of encouragements; otherwise a country with such a vast population can in no way fall short of talents. Hidden talents remain subdued.
What a trend!! Sportsperson get fame once movies are made on their hardships and achievements or on their demise, Mary Kom, Milkha Singh stand as accurate examples. The system requires some serious transformations, where all sports will be respected to encourage all children to follow what-so-ever they like.
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Hockey, being the national sport of our country, should at least some significance as a start. We salute people like Mohammed Shahid who keep the spirit of tradition alive and bring glory to our country.