Every year on August 29, National Sports Day is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of one of India’s greatest athletes, the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand. As he led India to global dominance in the sport in the mid-twentieth century, his peerless abilities with the hockey stick earned him numerous nicknames such as ‘Hockey Wizard’ and ‘The Magician.’
Dhyan Chand scored hundreds of goals in his career, which spanned from 1926 to 1949, and helped India win three consecutive Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932, and 1936. He is also the recipient of a number of awards, including the Major Dhyan Chand Award, which recognizes an athlete’s lifetime achievement in sports. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honour, has been renamed after the hockey legend as well.
National Sports Day is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the value of sports and related activities in one’s physical and mental well-being.
Here are five Bollywood biopics to watch on this day to get into the spirit of sportsmanship:
The film, starring Priyanka Chopra, is based on the life of boxing legend Mary Kom, who won six World Championship gold medals and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. The film chronicles her journey and struggles as she juggles boxer, wife, and mother roles. It received positive reviews from critics and won several awards, including a National Film Award for Best Popular Film.
In this film, Diljit Dosanjh plays hockey player Sandeep Singh, who goes through the highs and lows of his life, from becoming a hockey prodigy to being shot in the back, which paralyzed his lower body and threatened to end his career. He did, however, recover from that incident and compete in the 2009 Commonwealth Hockey Championship in London.
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story
The film covers Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s path from his boyhood days in Ranchi to being a ticket collector at a train station to becoming one of cricket’s most decorated captains. It stars the late Sushant Singh Rajput as the former Indian captain.
Budhia Singh: Born To Run
Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Mahendra Patole, and Tilotama Shome appear in this film based on the true tale of a five-year-old boy who became the world’s youngest marathon runner and his coach’s perseverance.
Bhaag Milka Bhaag
Farhan Akhtar plays Milkha Singh, a great Indian runner who goes from being a displaced orphan after Partition in 1947 to being the most decorated track and field athlete ever to represent India.