Ever since the Indian men's hockey team have won a historic bronze medal at the Toyo 2020 Olympic Games, hundreds of people including media personnel, photographers etc. have been finding their way to the village of Kizhakkambalam in Kerala’s Ernakulam district. Their destination is the house of PR Sreejesh, current goalkeeper and former captain of India’s men’s hockey team which defeated Germany to win a medal in hockey after 41 years.
However, the thing that stood out was that all those people, without fail, who landed at Sreejesh's hometown reached his house through the "Olympian Sreejesh Road," which was named to honour the star hockey player from the state. As per the information available, it was reportedly in 2014 that the Kerala government honoured Sreejesh by naming the bypass road passing along his house in Kizhakkambalam post the country bagged a gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games.
On Thursday though, as Sreejesh yet again found a way to block Germany's last hit and paved the way for India's historic win, those who had been holding their breath in front of the television in Sreejesh’s house started celebrating like it was a festival. The match was an edge of the seat thriller and Sreejesh, like numerous times over the course of his career and this tournament, was once again in the spotlight. The Indian goalkeeper needed to defend the goal to prevent Germany from levelling the scores and as soon as he blocked the shot, the time ran out and India were declared winners, 5-4 over Germany.
"This is a proud moment. We are happy that he was part of India’s team. We were tense till the last moment as anything could happen at the last minute. But we won. We are thankful to everyone,” Raveendran, Sreejesh’s father, told Manorama News.
Talking to the media, Sreejesh’s wife Aneeshya also expressed her joy and happiness. "It was his great wish to win an Olympic medal for the country. We are so much proud of the Indian team who put their best effort," she said.
Sreejesh made his debut with the Indian junior hockey team in 2006 and has since then been an important chapter in India's hockey.