Legendary Olympian Milkha Singh died on Friday evening due to COVID-19 complications. On this mournful occasion, we decided to mark his passing by revisiting his greatest moments. Milkha Singh, often fondly known as The Flying Sikh by the media, was a sprinter who put India’s name at the greatest sporting events during his days. He was 91-years-old and is survived by his son – famous golf player Jeev Milkha Singh & daughters Mona Singh, Sonia Singh and Aleeza Grover.


Milkha Singh took his last breath on Friday evening in Chandigarh. The veteran sportsperson was reported positive for deadly COVID-19 infection earlier last month, and was in news for being admitted to the ICU due to fluctuating oxygen need. His wife Nirmal Kaur also died earlier this week of the same complications. The deaths of Mrs. & Mr. Singh in quick succession is sure to have made it turbulent for all those close to them.

Also Read: The Flying Sikh Milkha Singh’s wife Nirmal Kaur dies due to COVID-19 complications


1958 Commonwealth Games Champion & Olympian, Milkha Singh was tested positive for COVID-19 earlier last month on May 20. Later the same week, he was admitted to a Mohali based private hospital. Later some optimistic news emerged when it was reported that he was discharged from hospital on May 30.

However, he was again admitted to the COVID-19 ward at PGIMER on June 3 due to lack of oxygen. Another optimistic report came in the form of Singh testing negative for the virus. Unfortunately, things turned from bad to worse and he was shifted to medical ICU due to deteriorating health.

Also Read: Milkha Singh Admitted to ICU Due to Low Oxygen Levels; PM Modi Speaks & Wishes Recovery

After his death, a statement from PGIMER read-

“Legendary Indian Sprinter Shri Milkha Singh ji was admitted in the ICU of Covid Hospital of PGIMER on 3rd June 2021 and was treated for Covid there till 13th June when after putting up a valiant battle with Covid, Milkha Singh Ji tested negative. However, due to post- Covid complications, he was shifted out of Covid Hospital to medical ICU.”

The statement further added-

“But despite best of the efforts by the medical team, Milkha Singh ji could not be retrieved from his critical condition and after a brave fight, he left for his heavenly abode at 11.30 pm on 18th June 2021 here at PGIMER.”

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Condolences Start Pouring In

Mr. Singh enjoyed the fruits of his labour in his later life, and was one of the most influential former athletes in the country. Condolence messages from the Indian Prime Minister, the Indian President, leaders from the ruling and opposition parties, sportspersons and celebrities started pouring in after his death.

Revisiting the Greatest Moments of Milkha Singh (1929 –2021)

Born in pre-partition India, losing 7 cousins in childhood

Born to a poor family in Gobinpura, Muzaffargarh– now in Pakistan – Milkha was the second child of his parents. Due to the poverty of his family and unavailability of medical resources, Milkha saw 7 of his 14 siblings dying due to poor health.

Parents murdered by rioters, Joining Indian Army

After struggling to make ends meet, moving back to India & seeing his parents be murdered by rioters, Singh finally joined the Indian Army. His talent in sprinting & his overall athleticism was nurtured and he participated in National Games, 1956 where he stood 4th.

Winning Gold at Tokyo Asian Games

In 1956, he went on to win the gold in Tokyo Asian Games for both 400m & 200m. During his 200m sprint, he went on to defeat the sprint record holder Abdul Khaliq and clocked at 46.6 seconds.

Coming inches closer to Olympic medal

The most significant moment of Milkha’s life came when he came inch close to realizing the biggest dream an athlete has – winning an Olympic medal. At the Rome Olympics, Singh participated in the 400m sprint and finished a heartbreaking 4th position. He was just 0.1 seconds behind the third-place winner.

His heroics were documented in the film called Bhaag Milkha Bhaag which starred Farhan Akhtar as the titular character.