Dalip Singh is a well known track and field athlete from India who participated in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France and in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Brigadier Dalip Singh was the first Indian sportsperson to represent the country at the Olympics.
Early Life of Dalip Singh
The Sikh athlete was born on 27th April, 1899 at Dolon village in Punjab
and competed in the 1924 Olympic Games. In that championship, India sent a small team of seven athletes. In this seven-man squad, the two Sikh athletes, Dalip and Palam made their debut. He was the captain of the Indian athletic team in the Summer Olympics. Dalip Singh completed his education from the Mission School and later he joined the Forman Christian College and Law College in Lahore. Singh portrayed his potential of becoming an excellent athlete and sportsman when he was in school. He emerged as a fine athlete and showed great skill in 100, 200 and 440 yards, 120 yards hurdles and also in long jump during the university days. Dalip Singh also played hockey and cricket as well.
Career of Dalip Singh
Dalip Singh had missed the chance to participate in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. He could not even have made to the Paris Olympics Games. But as he got the patronage and help from the late Magarajadhiraj Bhupinder Singh of Patiala
, he eventually made it. Dalip Singh was not only an excellent athlete but also was a good hockey player. He was scheduled to play for the hockey team, Patiala Tigers when the trials for the Paris Olympics were to be held at Lahore. There, the Maharaja of Patiala came to recognise his worth and then decided to help him to take a well deserved place in the 7 man athletic team of India. Though the national team could not achieve any prominent success, two among the Indian athletes performed exceptionally well and Dalip Singh was one of the athletes who proved his mettle.
In the 1924 Olympics, he was unable to qualify in the long jump competition and finished 14th. He closely missed a mark in the long jump event. If he was successful, that could have earned him a place among the first six. At the 1928 Olympics, he finished 36th in the long jump event. Dalip Singh was also the first Indian to be the torchbearer at the inaugural Asian Games at Delhi
Dalip Singh was a very notable and illustrious person. Singh had joined the Patiala
army in the year 1924 and in World War II; he served the Patiala Infantry with courage and valour. For his services, he was honoured with the prestigious M.B.E (Medal for British Empire).