On August 26, 2006, Sandeep Singh’s life took an unexpected turn tying him to a wheelchair.
Even when written off by the doctors, Sandeep Singh rose to popularity and became an idol of inspiration chucking his wheelchair.
The comeback story of Sandeep Singh has inspired millions of people around the world.
His biopic Soorma stands tall speaking his life story in detail.
Who is Sandeep Singh and what makes his life an example of dedication, determination, and hard work?
Let us find the answers to these questions here and know more about Flicker Singh.
Sandeep Singh of Haryana state is a professional field hockey player and former captain of the Indian national hockey team and now he is a cabinet minister of Haryana.
The early life of Sandeep Singh
Sandeep Singh was born on 27 February 1986 to Gurucharan and Daljit Bhinder.
Jealous over his Brother Bikramjeet Singh’s kit and hockey gear, Sandeep pleaded with his mom and got hockey gear on a condition to start hockey.
His budding fascination for hockey gears took him to his first debut for the junior world Cup with the Indian national hockey team in 2003.
His debut became his first stage to exhibit immense skills. The defining moment was when he scored 12 goals, the highest score in the tournament.
His first victory was not only proud for him but the entire nation brimmed with joy as it was the first time in history India won the cup.
This was his first step to becoming the best drag-flicker in Indian hockey.
Later, Sandeep was selected for the Athens Olympics 2004. This was his second success in his career as he was the youngest Indian member to get selected by the national selectors.
This opportunity knocked on his door after his impressive skills in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, 2004. His hockey career soared high with his curve skyrocketing.
He earned the name as flicker Singh for his ability to score drag-flicks and cemented his position as a crucial cog of the Indian team at the early age of 20.
The turning point
Sandeep Singh’s soaring career was hampered by an unexpected turn in 2006.
The young expert was looking forward to making a name at the 2006 Hockey World Cup which was shattered by the tragic incident that happened at the Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express.
The train was frequently boarded by politicians and notable personalities hence always protected by armed guards.
Sandeep, on August 26 boarded the train to Delhi and was seated in the C-10 coach. Behind him was a Railway Protection Force officer cleaning his rifle.
He pulled the trigger accidentally and shot the hockey player rendering him into a coma for a few days.
The bullet injured Sandeep’s spine and also damaged other organs including the kidney, liver, and stomach reducing 40 percent of his body weight.
When he woke up from the coma, the startling news of a wheelchair for the rest of his life shook Sandeep’s world.
He refused to believe and there began his second life of determination. He asked his brother to bring the hockey stick and used to sleep with it.
Funded by Indian Hockey Federation he flew to the Netherlands for rehabilitation.
Sandeep was determined and took rigorous training sessions for 9 months.
Singh in an interview said, “I was tied to the wheelchair for six months and my hope of returning to the hockey field plummeted but my brother kept encouraging me and told me that all I need to do is to be resolute to the field which had magical effects on me.”
The great comeback
His determination and grit led him to a great comeback in the 2008 Azlan Shah Cup.
He made the country’s jaws drop by scoring 9 goals which took them to finals after 12 years.
He bagged the role of Indian team captain later that year and led his team to the Olympics but couldn’t enter the 2008 Olympics.
However, he led his team to be one of the top scorers during the World Cup qualifying campaign with 16 out of the 44 goals and grabbed their place in the 2012 Olympics.
Despite the team’s disappointment in the Olympics, one can never deny Sandeep’s hard work and influence in entering the international stage.
After his retirement in 2014, he entered politics and became the Sports minister of Haryana.
The Doyen drag-flicker’s story of grit and perseverance is a great example for everyone showing that even the worst of adversities can be outwitted if one has the will to do it.