Milkha Singh: Biography, Age, Height, Achievements, Family and Career Statistics

Get complete information on the biography, records, achievements and career of Milkha Singh. Read to know more about this legend.

Milkha Singh, also known as the Flying Sikh, was an Indian track and field athlete who made history in 1960 by becoming the first male from his country to compete in the final of an Olympic athletics event. He was born on October 17, 1935, in Lyallpur, Pakistan, and died on June 18, 2021, in Chandigarh, India. 

Singh, who was left an orphan following the division of India, emigrated from Pakistan to India in 1947. Before enlisting in the Indian army, he made a meagre living by working in a wayside diner. Singh first became aware of his sprinting prowess while serving in the military. He was disqualified during the preliminary heats for the 200- and 400-meter sprints at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, despite winning the national trials in those events. 

Singh took first place in both the 200 and 400 metre races at the 1958 Asian Games. Following that year, at the Commonwealth Games, he won the 400-meter gold medal, giving India its first athletics gold medal ever. He missed out on third place in a dramatic finish to lose the bronze medal in the 400 metres at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. In addition to winning another gold as a member of India’s 4 400-meter relay team, Singh kept the 400-meter gold he had won at the 1962 Asian Games. As a member of the national 4 400 team, he had one final Olympic appearance at the 1964 Tokyo Games, although they were eliminated in the first round. 


In 1959, Singh received the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors. He worked as Punjab’s director of sports after retiring. The Race of My Life, Singh’s autobiography cowritten with his daughter Sonia Sanwalka, was released in 2013. 

Milkha Singh’s Biography

Real Name: Milkha Singh 

Nickname: The Flying Sikh

Profession: Athlete 

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 70 Kg 

Eye Colour : Dark Brown 

Hair Colour : Salt & Pepper 


Personal Life of Milkha Singh

Date of Birth: 20 November 1929

Zodiac Sign: Scorpio 

Place of Birth: Mujaffargarh, Punjab Province (in British period) now in Mujaffargarh District, Pakistan 

Religion: Sikhism

Languages Known: Hindi and English 

Date of Death: 18 June 2021 

Cause of Death: Covid 19

Place of Death: Chandigarh

Coach/Mentor: Gurdev Singh, Charles Jenkins and Dr Arthur W Howard 

International Debut: 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games 


Milkha Singh’s Favorites 

Eating Habits: Vegetarian

Favorite Food: Rajasthani 

Favorite Music: Pop 

Favorite Sports: Football

Hobbies: Music and movies 

Favorite Fruits: Lemon, Boysenberry 

Favorite Destination: Hawaii and Israel

Favorite Color: Blue, Violet and Yellow 


Lesser-Known Facts about Milkha Singh 

  • In 1949, Milkha Singh made his first unsuccessful attempt to obtain employment with the Indian army. He failed on his second attempt in 1950 as well. After that, he began working in a rubber industry till he eventually found employment in the army in 1952, earning reportedly Rs 39 and 8 anna.
  • At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Milkha competed for the first time, but he was disqualified early on. After winning a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in 1958, he began to become known on a global scale. He was fourth and broke his own 400-meter national mark in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, clocking a time of 45.73.
  • Even once, for taking a train without a ticket, he was taken to the Tihar Jail. His sister had to sell some of her jewellery to raise money for Milkha’s release on bail.
  • The sprinter gave all of Milkha Singh’s medals, trophies, and athletic honours as gifts. They are now displayed in Patiala’s Sports Museum.
  • In addition to his own three daughters and son, Milkha Singh also adopted the 7-year-old son of Bikram Singh, a hero of the Kargil War, in 1999.

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