MK Kaushik and Ravinder Pal Singh died of COVID-19 Saturday.
Two Olympic hockey athletes, MK Kaushik and Ravinder Pal Singh died fighting COVID-19 on Saturday. Both were members 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 in a nursing home in New Delhi at night.
“They switched him to a respirator this morning, but he passed away just now (at night),” said his son Ehsan.
Kaushik’s son Ehsan said the hockey veteran’s oxygen saturation level continued to fluctuate, exacerbating his condition.
Ravinder Pal, 65, had been admitted to Vivekananda Hospital in Lucknow on April 24 after contracting the virus. According to his family, Ravinder had recovered from the virus and had recently been transferred to a COVID-free ward. But his condition suddenly deteriorated on Friday and he was hooked up to a ventilator.
Ravinder, who also played in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, did not marry and is survived by a niece, Pragya Yadav.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju lamented the death of Ravinder Pal Singh and tweeted: “I am deeply saddened to know 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 Shanti🙏 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 the RTPCR and RAT tests came back negative. Kaushik underwent a chest CT scan on April 24 and Covid pneumonia was detected.
“Since then he has been hospitalized. His oxygen level drops dramatically at night, which is a major problem,” added his son Ehsan.
Kaushik’s wife was also receiving treatment at the same hospital after contracting the virus, but she is recovering well and is likely to be discharged this week.
Kaushik coached both men’s and women’s teams and under his training, the Indian men’s team won its last major international tournament – the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok.
In addition, under his leadership, the Indian women’s team won the bronze medal at the Asian Games in Doha in 2006. Kaushik received the Arjuna award in 1998 and the Dronacharya award in 2002.
Rijiju mourned Kaushik’s death and said: “Again a sad day for Indian hockey. We lost MK Kaushik Ji, a member of the Indian hockey team that won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.”
Ravinder also played in the 1979 Youth World Cup and voluntarily retired from the State Bank of India after leaving hockey.
Born in Sitapur, Ravinder stood out as a midfielder from 1979 to 1984. In addition to two Olympics, Ravinder had also represented India in the Champions Trophy in Karachi (1980, 1983), the 10-nation Jubilee Silver Cup in Hong Kong in 1983, the 1982 World Cup in Mumbai, and the 1982 Asian Cup in Karachi, among other tournaments.