Known as The Magician of field hockey, Dhyan Chand, one of the greatest hockey players from India, is remembered for his three Olympic gold medals and for his ability to control the ball. The Padma Bhushan awardee initially loved wrestling but deviated to hockey after joining the army.
Sandeep Singh is an Indian field hockey player who led the Indian team in the 2009 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where his team defeated Malaysia in the finals. Singh also helped his team win a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2010. His life inspired the 2018 biographical film Soorma.
Vandana Katariya is an Indian hockey player who achieved national recognition in 2013 when she became India's top goal-scorer in the Women's Hockey Junior World Cup, helping her team win a bronze medal. As a member of the senior team, Vandana Katariya helped the team win the bronze and silver medals at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games respectively.
Legendary hockey player Dhanraj Pillay, who revolutionized Indian sports with his talent, appeared in four Olympics and four World Cups. He also led India to gold medals in the Asia Cup, the Asian Games, and the Champions Challenge. The Padma Shri awardee is now an Aam Aadmi Party member.
Indian hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. is remembered as one of the greatest center-forwards in the world. Born to a freedom fighter father, he was later inspired by India’s 1936 Olympic hockey win and took up the sport. He later made history by winning three Olympic hockey gold medals.
Chitrashi Rawat is an Indian model, actress, and field hockey player. She is best known for her portrayal of Komal Chautala in the 2007 sports film Chak De! India. In 2008, she received the Star Screen Award for Best Actress In A Supporting Role. She then went on to play important roles in popular films like Fashion and Luck.
Sardara Singh is an Indian retired field hockey player who captained the men's national team from 2008 to 2016. In 2014, he helped his team win the gold medal at the Asian Games in Incheon. He also won the gold medal at the 2017 Asia Cup in Dhaka. In 2015, Sardara Singh was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri Award.
Born to a cart-puller in Haryana, Rani Rampal became the youngest player of the Indian squad to have ever participated in the Hockey World Cup. Later, she led the team as its captain and scored an Asia Cup victory after 13 years. The Padma Shri awardee has also coached for SAI.
Padma Shri-winning legendary Indian hockey player Leslie Claudius is known for being a three-time Olympic gold medalist. He was also one of only two Indians, apart from Udham Singh, to have won four Olympic hockey medals. He was also the first player to earn 100 caps for India.
Ritu Rani is an Indian hockey player who served as the captain of the women's national team from 2011 to 2017. Rani led the team to the 2016 Summer Olympics, becoming the first player to lead the Indian team in the Olympics after 36 years. In 2016, Ritu Rani was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award.
Gurjit Kaur is an Indian field hockey player who plays as a defender in the women's national team. At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Kaur helped the team win the silver medal. At the 2020-21 FIH Player of the Year Awards, Gurjit Kaur was named Player of the Year.
Savita Punia is an Indian hockey player who represents the national team as a goalkeeper. Punia helped her team win the bronze and the silver medals at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games in Incheon and Jakarta respectively. Her stellar performance in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo earned her the nickname Great Wall of India.
Padma Shri- and Arjuna Award-winning hockey legend Mohammed Shahid is best known for being part of the squad that won a gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Known for his extraordinary dribbling skills, the Varanasi-born sports star had also won two Asian Games medals, including a silver.
Known as one of the world’s best drag flickers, hockey player Rupinder Pal Singh is best known for being part of the bronze-winning Indian squad at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He is also known for his towering 6’4” frame. He retired from international hockey in 2021.
Lalremsiami is an Indian hockey player who represents the national team where she plays as a forward. Lalremsiami helped the team win the gold medal at the 2017 Asia Cup. In 2018, she helped the team win the silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta, becoming the first sportsperson from the state of Mizoram to receive an Asian medal.
Sushila Chanu is an Indian hockey player who helped the national team win the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. In 2018, Sushila Chanu became one of the few female Indian hockey players to have played 150 or more international games when she played her 150th international game in Madrid during the team's 2018 tour of Spain.
Saba Anjum Karim is an Indian former hockey player who represented the national team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games where the team won the gold medal. She also helped the team win the gold medal at the 2004 Asia Cup in New Delhi. In 2013, Karim was honored with the Arjuna Award. In 2015, she was awarded the Padma Shri.
Vidya Stokes is an Indian politician who served as the Irrigation & Public Health Minister of Himachal Pradesh from 2012 to 2017. In 2010, she was elected as the president of Hockey India at the age of 83. She has also served as the president of the Women’s Hockey Association on several occasions.
Deep Grace Ekka is an Indian hockey player who plays as a defender in the women's national team. At the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, Ekka helped her team win the bronze and silver medals respectively. At the 2017 Asian Cup in Gifu, she played an important role in the team's gold medal-winning performance.
Mamta Kharab is an Indian former field hockey player and former captain of the women's national team. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Kharab helped the Indian team win the gold medal by scoring the winning goal in the finals against England. Mamta Kharab served as the model for Komal Chautala's character in the 2007 film Chak De India.
Sunita Lakra is an Indian retired hockey player who represented the women's national team. She helped the team win the bronze and the silver medals at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games respectively.
One of the best drag flickers in Indian hockey, V. R. Raghunath first gained fame with his debut appearance as part of the 2003 Sub-Junior Asia Cup-winning Indian squad. The Arjuna Award-winning player later won several medals, including a Commonwealth silver and an Asia Cup gold.
Suraj Lata Devi is an Indian former field hockey player who captained the women's national team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester where the team won the gold medal. The team's performance in the event inspired the 2007 film Chak De India. Devi also helped the team win the gold medal at the 2004 Asia Cup in New Delhi.
Legendary Indian hockey player Udham Singh was one of two Indians to have won four Olympic medals, three of them being gold medals. Though his 5’6” frame was short by sports standards, that didn’t hamper his game. He had also coached the Punjab Police hockey team.
The daughter of a mechanic from Haryana, Navjot Kaur was encouraged to take up hockey by her father and started training in sixth grade. She is best known for being part of the 2017 Asian Cup gold-winning squad and has two Asian Games medals in her kitty, too.
Nikki Pradhan is an Indian field hockey player who represents the women's national team. In 2016, Pradhan became the first female field hockey player from Jharkhand to represent India at the Olympics. In 2017, she helped the team win the gold medal at the Asia Cup. In 2018, she helped the team win the silver medal at the Asian Games.
Lilima Minz is an Indian field hockey player who represents the women's national team. At the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, Minz helped her team win the bronze and silver medals respectively. At the 2017 Asian Cup in Gifu, she helped her team win the gold medal.
Eklavya Award-winning hockey player Namita Toppo is a talented midfielder from India. Apart from two Asian Games medals, she also has an Asia Cup gold medal in her kitty. In spite of being a railway employee, she was made to sit on the train floor while returning home after the Rio Olympics.
Mary D'Souza Sequeira was one of the first female athletes to be part of the Olympics. The Asian Games relay bronze medalist was also part of the first women’s field hockey team in India. She later joined the Indian Railways and coached young players too.
Arjuna Award-winning hockey player Pritam Rani Siwach has a Commonwealth gold and a Champions Challenge bronze in her kitty. She hails from a remote Haryana village and had begun training at age 9, after being bullied for her lean frame and denied a spot on her school’s kho-kho team.
Deepika Thakur is an Indian hockey player who plays as a defender in the national team. Deepika, who has represented India on over 200 occasions, is currently the highest capped player in the team. At the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, Thakur helped her team win the bronze and silver medals respectively. In 2020, she was honored with Arjuna Award.
Jasjeet Kaur Handa is the second player from her hometown, Shahabad, to win the prestigious Arjuna Award. Apart from an Asia Cup gold, she also has an Asian Games bronze to her credit. She is known to be an aggressive striker and is often considered a match winner.
Born in Meerut, India, Islahuddin Siddiqui emerged as one of the best hockey players of Pakistan. He also led Pakistan to a World Cup gold as a captain in 1978 and additionally won the Asian Games and Champions Trophy gold medals that year too. He also co-wrote his memoir, Dash Through My Life.
Hailing from Punjab, Indian field hockey player Amandeep Kaur was part of the Indian squad that won the Manchester Commonwealth Games gold in 2002. She was also part of the bronze medal-winning women’s hockey team at the Johannesburg Champions Challenge the same year.
Hailing from the small town of Shahabad in Haryana, Suman Bala eventually went on to become the vice-captain of the Indian national women’s hockey team. Apart from a Junior Asia Cup hat-trick against Taiwan, she also boasts of a Commonwealth and an Asia Cup gold.
Hailing from a poor family in Shahabad in Haryana, Indian hockey player Surinder Kaur was once rejected by the Indian selectors for her low haemoglobin levels. She made a comeback by working hard on her fitness and now has a hockey Asia Cup gold in her kitty.
Arjuna Award winner Jyoti Sunita Kullu soared to fame after leading the Indian hockey squad to a bronze win at the Doha Asian Games, as the team captain. She was also part of the gold-winning squad at the Manchester Commonwealth Games and the silver-winning team at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.