Indian men’s hockey team on August 5 created history after they won a bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics, breaking a 41-year old jinx. While the feat was a proud moment for the entire country, a small town in Punjab called Mithapur, has a special connection with this glory. Hockey team captain Manpreet Singh, his teammates Mandeep Singh, and Varun Kumar, who represented Indian hockey at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 are from Mithapur.

But that’s not it, this village has played an integral role in changing the landscape of Indian hockey at the international level. Interestingly, Mithapur has delivered six hockey Olympic champions.

Also Read: From 1900 to 2021: Brief history of India’s Olympic medal victories

The village has produced six hockey Olympics stars including Swarup Singh, who represented the Helsinki Olympic team in 1952, Kulwant Singh, who played with Munich in 1972, and the legendary Pargat Singh, the first Indian to captain the Indian team twice, and play in 1988, 1992 and 1996 and the freshly added names Mandeep Singh, Varun Kumar, and Manpreet Singh.

The soil of the training grounds of this village has witnessed several hockey legends and is considered auspicious by all the players across Punjab.

Watch: ‘Entire country is dancing’, PM Modi congratulates men’s hockey team. 

Swarup Singh: Hockey legend Swarup Singh was a member of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics gold medal-winning Indian hockey team. He was also from Mithapur. Others in the team were Ranganathan Francis, Chinnadorai Deshmuthu, Randhir Singh Gentle, Dharam Singh, Swarup Singh, Govind Perumal, Keshav Dutt, Leslie Claudius, Jaswant Singh Rajput, Meldric Daluz, Raghbir Lal, Udham Singh, Muniswamy Rajagopal, GS Dubey, Grahanandan Singh, and CS Gurung.

Kulwant Singh: Born in 1948, Kulwant Singh was another Indian field hockey player from Mithapur who won a bronze medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

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Pargat Singh:  A hockey player-turned politician, Pargat Singh was considered one of the best defenders of his time. 

He captained the Indian men’s hockey team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  

Manpreet Singh: Captain of the bronze-winning Indian hockey team of 2021, Manpreet Singh also hails from Mithapur, Punjab. 

He first played for India in 2011 at the age of 19 and went on to represent India at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was named Asia’s Junior Player of the Year in 2014. He was also named in the Indian squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics.  

Varun Kumar: The 26-year-old Varun Kumar is a professional field hockey player who plays as a defender for Punjab Warriors in the Hockey India League and the Indian national team. He was also a part of the bronze-winning Indian hockey team of 2021.

Mandeep Singh: Mandeep Singh is an Indian professional field hockey player who currently plays as a forward for Delhi Waveriders in the Hockey India League and the Indian national team.