Two Hockey Olympians – MK Kaushik and Ravinder Pal Singh - died battling COVID-19 on Saturday. Both were member of the 1980 Moscow Olympics gold-medal winning team. (More Sports News)
While Ravinder Pal Singh died on Saturday morning in Lucknow after battling COVID-19 for two weeks, coach MK Kaushik, who had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 17, died at a nursing home in New Delhi in the evening.
"He was shifted to ventilator this morning but passed away just now (in the evening)," his son Ehsan said.
Kaushik’s son Ehsan said that the hockey veteran’s oxygen saturation level kept fluctuating making his condition serious.
Ravinder Pal, 65 had been admitted to the Vivekananda Hospital in Lucknow on April 24 after contracting the virus. As per his family, Ravinder had recovered from the virus and had been recently shifted to a non-COVID ward. But his condition suddenly deteriorated on Friday and he was put on a ventilator.
Ravinder, who also played at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, did not get married and is survived by a niece, Pragya Yadav.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju condoled the death of the Ravinder Pal Singh and tweeted, "I'm deeply saddened to learn that Shri Ravinder Pal Singh ji has lost the battle to Covid19.
I'm deeply saddened to learn that Shri Ravinder Pal Singh ji has lost the battle to Covid19. With his passing away India loses a golden member of the hockey team that won Gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. His contribution to Indian sports will always be remembered. Om ShantiðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ pic.twitter.com/rCE1pcaIgx— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 8, 2021
Kaushik, who is survived by his wife and son, first developed symptoms on April 17 but RTPCR and RAT tests came negative. Kaushik underwent a CT scan on chest on April 24 and pneumonia due to Covid was detected.
"Since then he has been hospitalised. His oxygen level drops drastically at night which is a major issue," his son Ehsan had added.
Kaushik's wife was also getting treatment at the same hospital after contracting the virus but is recovering well and is likely to be discharged this week.
Kaushik coached both the senior men and women teams and under his coaching, India men's team won their last major international tournament - the 1998 Asian Games, Bangkok.
Also, under his coaching, Indian women team had won bronze medal at the Doha Asian Games in 2006. Kaushik was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1998, and was bestowed with the Dronacharya award in 2002.
Rijiju condoled the death of Kaushik and said ,"Again a sad day for Indian Hockey. We lost MK Kaushik ji, member of the Indian Hockey Team that won gold at 1980 Moscow Olympic."
Again a sad day for Indian Hockey. We lost MK Kaushik ji, member of the Indian Hockey Team that won gold at 1980 Moscow Olympic. He also coached the 1998 Asian Games men's team & 2002 Commonwealth Games Women's team. Both teams won Gold. Salute to Kaushik Ji. Rest in peace ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ pic.twitter.com/Edp2vXOklK— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 8, 2021
Ravinder also played in the 1979 Junior World Cup and took voluntary retirement from State Bank of India after quitting hockey.
Born in Sitapur, Ravinder excelled as a centre-half from 1979 to 1984. Besides two Olympics, Ravinder had also represented India in the Champions Trophy in Karachi (1980, 1983), Silver Jubilee 10-nation Cup in Hong Kong in 1983, 1982 World Cup in Mumbai and 1982 Asia Cup in Karachi, among other tournaments.
India is battling a devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Former India captain Viren Rasquinha also expressed his condolences, "Really sad day for Indian hockey and Indian sport. Two legends have passed away in a single day succumbing to covid-19 complications."
Really sad day for Indian hockey and Indian sport. Two legends have passed away in a single day succumbing to covid-19 complications - Ravinder Pal Singh and MK Kaushik. Both were 1980 Moscow Olympics Hockey Gold medallists. Just too shocked ðÂÂÂÂ¢— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) May 8, 2021
Former hockey player SV Sunil also took to the twitter to express his shock. Sunil said, "Numb with shock... We were praying for MK Kaushik sir’s recovery but it was not to be."
Numb with shock... We were praying for MK Kaushik sir’s recovery but it was not to be. A champion player, who played a huge role in India winning the 1980 Olympic gold & a players’ coach. He guided us to the 2014 Asian Games gold. He’ll live in our hearts forever. #RIPSir— SV Sunil | à²Âà²¸à³Â.à²µà²¿. à²¸à³Âà²¨à²¿à²²à³Â (@SVSunil24) May 8, 2021
India women's hockey team skipper Rani Rampal said, "This is really a heartbreaking moment for me, have lost our former coach Olympian MK Kaushik Sir"
This is really a heartbreaking moment for me, have lost our former coach Olympian MK Kaushik Sir who coached us during my debut in the national team. He was really a great personality & hardworking. We lost a noble soul due to COVID-19. My heartfelt condolences to his family. RIP pic.twitter.com/LYTHnfqgUL— Rani Rampal (@imranirampal) May 8, 2021
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine