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Singh at Chandigarh Golf Club in 2012
1935 (age 77–78)
Govindpura, Punjab, British India
The Flying Sikh
Track and field athlete
Retired; formerly of the Indian Army and Government of Punjab, India Religion
3 daughters; 1 son; 1 adopted son
Olympic medal record
Competitor for IND
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
4 x 400 m relay
The Flying Sikh - Milkha Singh
Sardar Milkha Singh is the greatest living Sikh Athlete. Born in a family of modest means, joining the army and then discovering the penchant for running and winning is his life in summation. . He deservedly got an epithet named "Flying Sikh" from Pakistan General Ayub Khan. Till date (Until 2000 Sydney Olympics) the 'Flying Sikh' is the only Indian to have broken an Olympic record. Unfortunately, he was the fourth athlete to reset the mark and thus missed the bronze medal in the 400m event at the Rome Olympics in 1960.
following is the article reproduced from www.rediff.com
For the man who won 77 of the 80 races he ran, Milkha Singh has no medals. It has been some years that 'The Flying Sikh' donated his sporting treasures to the nation. No personal souvenirs line his living room walls, no trophies sit on the mantle. Instead, the walls make do with pictures of the surgeon in America who saved his wife's life and Havildar Bikram Singh, a Kargil martyr. "I have given permission that my medals be transferred from the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi to the sports museum in Patiala," says the 72-year-old Singh. Strangely, the stadium gallery lined with many of India's sporting talent does not have a single picture of Milkha Singh. In a country where great sportspersons are few and far between, India has a strange way of honouring its stars. But Milkha Singh's achievements can do without such testimony. "The people of this country remember me. I may have started dyeing my beard but I am recognised at airports, railway stations -- anywhere. School textbooks have chapters on me, and somehow the sobriquet 'The Flying Sikh' has endured in people's memory," he says. Singh, however, has no complaints about the recognition given to him by the government. A Padma Shri and Arjuna Award winner, the legendary athlete who started his career on a Rs 10 wage went on to become director, sports, ministry of education in the Punjab government. "I have received more than I deserved." It was a hard uphill climb for the refugee from Muzaffargarh in west Pakistan. The Partition massacres of 1947 took the lives of his parents and Singh was rejected by the army thrice. He subsequently enrolled in the army's electrical mechanical engineering branch in 1952 when his brother Malkhan Singh put in a word for him, and experienced his first sport outing at its athletics meet a fortnight later. "That was the first time I saw a ground bedecked with flags," reminisces Singh. "I later participated in a crosscountry race with 300 to 400 jawans. And sat down after the first half mile before starting again -- that was my first race." Determined to be the best and realising his talent as a sprinter, the jawan took to training five hours every day.Motivated by his coach Havildar Gurdev Singh, he left it to the elements to hone his craft -- running on the hills, the sands of the Yamuna river, and against the speed of a metre gauge train. He says so intense was his training that very often he vomitted blood and would collapse in exhaustion. Every morning Milkha Singh still goes for a jog by the Sukhna lake in Chandigarh. Most afternoons are spent playing golf and he uses the gym in his house regularly. "Discipline. You have to...
Bibliography: 1. Copyright © Archana Masih"Somehow the Flying Sikh has endured in people 's memory"
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