Balbir Singh Sr, hockey legend and triple Olympic gold medallist, passes away at 95
New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Balbir Singh Sr, a three-time Olympic gold-winning hockey legend, passed away on Monday morning after battling multiple health issues for over two weeks, reported news agency PTI.
Director Fortis Hospital in Mohali, Abhijit Singh confirmed Singh's death, saying that the former hockey legend passed away at the age of 95 on Monday. "He died at around 6:30 this morning," Singh told PTI.
The iconic hockey legend is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir, Karanbir and Gurbir.
Sr was admitted to a private hospital from his residence in Sector 36 in Chandigarh, where he lived with his daughter Sushbir and maternal grandson Kabir. He was kept at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital.
In January last year, Balbir Sr was discharged from PGI after spending 108 days in the hospital, where he underwent treatment for bronchial pneumonia.
"It is an unparalleled achievement and credit to his grit that he could recover at the age of 95 from the scenario of bronchial pneumonia and near cardiac failure that he was initially admitted with," Prof. Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER had then said when the former India captain was discharged.
Balbir Sr was in a semi-comatose state since May 18 and had developed a blood clot in his brain after being first admitted to the hospital for bronchial pneumonia with high fever.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed grief over Sr's demise and said, "Pained to learn about the demise of Padma Shri Balbir Singh Sr ji, a legendary hockey player, who left indelible imprint on world hockey with his stick. I was fortunate to have met the lively and joyful Balbir ji, a three time Olympic gold medalist. My condolences to his family".
One of the country's greatest athletes, Balbir Sr was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history.
His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men''s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten.
(With PTI inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma