One of the greatest sports icons of India, ace sprinter Milkha Singh passed away on June 18, 2021, after a month-long battle with COVID-19. The entire nation has expressed deep anguish over the demise of The Flying Sikh at the age of 91.
An inspirational figure to millions, let’s look back at his extraordinarily remarkable life and shed light on some of the lesser-known facts about Milkha Singh.
Lesser-Known 7 Facts About The Flying Sikh – Milkha Singh
- Everyone knows Milkha Singh joined the Army as a technical jawan. However, what they don’t know is: He was rejected 3 times by the Indian Army after getting selected on his 4th try.
- The title “Flying Sikh of India” was actually bestowed to the ace sprinter by Pakistan’s General Ayub Khan after his outstanding performance at the Asian Games.
- He was India’s first Commonwealth Games gold medalist. Although, Singh declined the government’s Arjuna Award in 2001 saying “it came 40 years too late”.
- The flying Sikh came 4th in the 400m race at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Fortunately, his timing of 45.73 became a national record and stood for almost 40 years.
- In 1999, Milkha Singh adopted the 7-year-old son of Havildar Bikram Singh, Manjit after his death. Bikram Singh fought in the Kargil War.
- “Bhaag Milkha, Bhaag” was based on the real-life events of the great athlete. He charged only Rs 1 for his contribution to the film while providing minute details of his life to the director.
- Mr. Singh gifted the shoes that he used to run in the Rome Olympics to his on-screen character, Farhan Akhtar while they were shooting of ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’.
The entire nation grieves as she had just lost one of her beloved sons. Janta Power pays respects and sends condolences to the family of Mr. Milkha Singh, The Flying Sikh.