Last month, 26-year-old hockey midfielder Dharamvir Singh had a sole aim in his mind to get ready for Rio Olympics. Until one-day during a practice session ahead of Champions Trophy, he felt a sharp pain in his lower back. Subsequent visit to doctor followed by a MRI, and Dharamvir’s worst fear came true. The injury was serious enough to rule him out of the team for Rio. This would have been his second Olympics, after representing the country in the 2012 London Games.
“It was a bolt out the blue. I was shocked. As a player you sweat it out and work hard with one aim of representing the country at the highest level. And here I am going to miss the biggest sporting extravaganza,” Dharamvir said, who is a former trainee of UT-run Chandigarh Hockey and Football Academy. This year, he has also been nominated for the Arjuna Award.
From a modest start, Dharamvir, who hails from village Khairabad in Ropar, became a regular in the Indian team on the back of some good performances in Indian colours. He was part of the 2014 Asian Games gold medal winning team and was also part of the team which won silver in 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“The timing of the injury was bad,” Dharamvir said. “I was inconsolable. Coach Roelant Oltmans held long discussions with me and doctors. In the end, he suggested that I should not risk aggravating the injury.”
It took Dharamvir some time to reconcile, but is now into rehab.