Milkha Singh, popularly known as 'the Flying Sikh', died on June 18 to Covid-related complications.
Milkha Singh Death: Milkha Singh, aged 91, popularly known as ‘the Flying Sikh’, passed away on June 18 due to Covid-related complications.
Singh who is the winner of four Asian gold medals and finished fourth in the 400m final at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
In 2013, a Bollywood film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was made tracing his real life stories.
Earlier this week, Singh’s wife, Nirmal Kaur, aged 85, also died with Covid earlier this week, aged 85. She was a former volleyball captain.
Last month, Singh contracted Covid-19 and died of disease complications in a hospital in Chandigarh late Friday.
Soon after his demise news, Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately took to Twitter to send a condolence to the popular athlete. Among celebrities, Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Raveena Tandon and Farhan Akhtar also paid tributes to the legendary sportsman.
In the passing away of Shri Milkha Singh Ji, we have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions. Anguished by his passing away. pic.twitter.com/h99RNbXI28
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2021
The Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched… An inspiration to me… an inspiration to millions. Rest in Peace Milkha Singh sir.
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) June 18, 2021
Incredibly sad to hear about the demise of #MilkhaSingh ji. The one character I forever regret not playing on-screen!
May you have a golden run in heaven, Flying Sikh. Om shanti, Sir 🙏🏻
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) June 19, 2021
T 3940 – In grief .. Milkha Singh passes away .. the pride of India .. a great athlete .. a greater human ..
Waheguru di Mehr .. prayers 🙏🙏
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) June 19, 2021
Had the honour of meeting you Sir, you will always have a special place in all our hearts ! Whenever we need to be inspired, “bhaag milkhe bhaag,” will resound in our ears ! Om Shanti. 🙏🏼 https://t.co/UZC6chEQg8
— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 18, 2021
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) June 19, 2021
Milkha Singh was independent India’s first sporting superstar.
Singh spent his childhood days in a small village in what was still British India during his childhood.
As a young boy growing up in a remote village in Multan province, he witnessed the murder of his parents and seven siblings during India’s partition and the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.
His father’s final words were “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” encouraged his son to run for his life.
The youngster ran first to save his life and then to win medals.
When he arrived in India as an orphan in 1947, he did odd jobs to survive. Then, he joined the army where he realised he had athletic abilities.
In India, Singh’s achievements on the track and field are legendary. He won five gold medals in international athletics competitions and received the Helms World Trophy in 1959 for winning 77 of his 80 international races. In 1958, he also won India’s first Commonwealth gold medal.
At the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958, Singh won gold medal. Then he won fourth in the 400 metres at the Olympics in Rome, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal.
He was invited to compete in the 200m event at an International Athletic competition in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1960. He hadn’t returned to Pakistan since fleeing in 1947, and he had initially refused to go.