By the mid-1920s, he was a rising star in Indian hockey. He toured New Zealand with an Army team in those years, helping them win 18 of their 21 games. Naturally, he was selected to the Indian team for the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

The team actually lost their last practice game – Dhyan scored their two goals, but their Bombay opponents replied with three – before leaving for Europe. The loss only spurred them on. They won practice games in England and Europe by such huge margins that when the Games began in mid-May, the other teams must have been terrified of this Indian juggernaut.


In Amsterdam, India thrashed Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland. In the final on May 26, India hammered the Netherlands. Dhyan and his team had sailed through the Olympics without giving up even one goal. Of their 29 goals, Dhyan scored 14.

A local newspaper put it like this: “This is not a game of hockey, but magic. Dhyan Chand is in fact the magician of hockey.” And everyone who had ever seen the ball stick like glue to Dhyan’s flashing stick knew just what those words meant.