first_imgThe biggest treasure for any sportsperson is his array of medals. But what happens when someone loses his most precious assets?Well, this is exactly what happened with three-time Olympic gold medal winner and a Guinness book of World records holder, Padma Shree Balbir Singh Senior.Balbir Singh who is a renowned hockey player, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hockey India Annual Awards last year.But today, he is fighting for his own medals.A Treasure LostAlong with the blazer that he wore as the captain of the Indian Hockey team during the 1956 Olympics, Singh had given 36 national and international medals to the Sports Authority of India to be displayed at their museum in 1985.It was only in 2012, when Singh was invited to London for a felicitation programme for world’s 16 iconic Olympians that he came to know about his missing medals.Passing the BuckWhen the veteran sportsman approached SAI, he was told that all his belongings had been shifted to Patiala. However, SAI Patiala officials told him that they are not in their possession.”It feels like someone has dismembered me. It seems that some kind of conspiracy is on to erase my name from the history books. Nobody has an answer about my 36 medals, photos and blazer,” Singh told India Today.”It is very unfortunate that this is happening to us in our own country,” said Sushbir Singh, Balbir Singh’s son.Singh and his family had also approached Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, Congress leader Ajay Maken and other top officials regarding the issue.advertisementHockey legendBalbir Senior represented team India during the London Olympics in 1948. He also played a major part in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 and the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.The 90-year-old received the trophy for Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award along with a cheque of Rs 30 lakh last year.Who is Balbir Singh SeniorBalbir Singh was born in 1924 in PunjabHe was a field hockey player for India, who performed remarkably during the London, Helsinki and Melbourne Olympics in 1948, 1952 and 1956 respectivelyThe team had won the gold medal in all the three Olympics. In fact, he was the captain during the Melbourne OlympicsBalbir was the manager and chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team for the 1975 World Cup, which was won by IndiaDuring the London Olympics in 2012, he was honoured in the Olympic Museum exhibition, “The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games” held at the Royal Opera HouseBalbir Senior was the first sportsperson to be honoured with the Padma Shri in 1957last_img