Indian men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh revealed that they realised the magnitude of the bronze medal win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics only after they landed home. It was a historic feat for the eight-time champions who claimed an Olympic medal for the first time in 41 years.
In spite of being the most successful nation in hockey at the Olympics, India’s medal drought at the Games has been dealt with a lot of criticism in the recent past. However, it was believed that the current crop had the potential to finally break the jinx. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Manpreet Singh and Co. lived up to the expectations and clinched the bronze medal, securing a podium finish for the first time since the 1980 Moscow Games.
Once the most popular sport in India, only dethroned by cricket in the 1980s, the win at the Tokyo Games was celebrated in grand style, bringing back it the memories of the golden era. Indian skipper Manpreet Singh, who played an influential role in the successful campaign, revealed how the players realised the magnitude of the win only after they landed in India.
“We didn’t realise the magnitude of our medal there. Sure, we got many calls and messages. But when we landed in India, it was unreal. There was so much crowd at the airport that we had to be whisked away through another exit,” said Manpreet Singh, as reported by Hindustan Times.
“When we reached the hotel, we were felicitated. After that, it has been one function after another, and it's been going on like that since; it's like we’re on an India tour! But it’s a good thing. We received so much support from everyone that we feel like it’s our job to go to everyone now and thank them.”