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10 things to know about 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh

Milkha Singh passed away on June 18, 2021. Let's go back in history and see things which we should be knowing about him

10 things to know about Flying Sikh Milkha Singh

Abishek Sadanandam

Updated: 19 Jun 2021 10:24 AM GMT

Milkha Singh, born on (20 November 1929) was an Indian sprinter popularly known as "The Flying Sikh", started playing this sport while he was serving in the Army. The track and field sprinter has represented India on the global stage for nearly two decades, including three Olympics: 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics.

Let's see ten things about Milkha Singh that should be interesting for us to know.


"The Flying Sikh" name was given to him by Pakistani general Ayub Khan in 1960 after he won a famous race against Abdul Khaliq.

Milkha Singh and Abdul Khaliq


Milkha Singh came fourth in 400m finals of the 1960 Rome Olympics and missed out on the bronze medal by just 0.1 sec

Final of 1960 Rome Olympics


The sprinter is the first individual athlete to win a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games for Independent India, and he achieved this feat in the 1958 games.


Milkha Singh failed thrice in the entrance exams of the Indian Army, but he managed to get through in his fourth attempt in the year 1951.


The Indian government decided to award him with the "Arjuna Award" in 2001, which he declined, saying it came "40 years too late."


It is believed that Milkha Singh ran 80 races worldwide in total, and out of them, he has won 77 races.


In his fourth attempt, Milkha Singh joined Indian Army as a technical jawan, and his salary was only Rs 39 and 8 anna at that time.


A national holiday was announced by then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru to celebrate "Flying Sikh" when Milkha Singh requested the Prime Minister for a national holiday after he won gold in the 1958 Commonwealth games.

Milkha Singh with Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru


Milkha Singh donated all his medals back to the nation, and it is kept at the sports museum in Patiala for the public to see.


We all knew about the movie "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", but what we don't know is Milkha Singh charged only one rupee from the film-makers but put up a clause stating a share of profits should be given to the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust.

Milkha Singh with actor Farhan Akhtar who played his role in movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

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