Google Doodle pays tributes to great Gama Pehlwan

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ISLAMABAD: Google yesterday (Sunday) celebrates the 144th birthday of the undefeated Gama Pehlwan, with an artistic doodle.

In the Google Doodle, Gama Pehlwan can be seen standing strong, surrounded by the letters of “Google.”

In his right hand, he holds a silver mace, bestowed upon him by the Prince of Wales.

Ghulam Mohammad Baksh, later known as Gama Pehlwan or “The Great Gama” — was born on May 22, 1878 in Jabbowal Village in the Punjab Province of what was then known as British India.

He had a tumultuous childhood, moving after death of his father and again when his grandfather passed, ultimately living with his uncle, a wrestler.

Gaining an interest in intense exercise and wrestling from a very young age, Gama Pehlwan entered a strongman competition at the age of 10, earning the top spot among over 400 competitors. From there, his training and interest in wrestling only increased. By some accounts, Gama’s training at one point consisted of as many as 5000 squats and 3000 pushups per day.

From the 1890s through 1910, Gama Pehlwan went on a streak of undefeated matches against India’s greatest wrestlers, with only his match against the national champion ending in a draw.

Gama then grew his career internationally by challenging and defeating the greatest wrestlers in Britain, resulting in a match against world champion Stanislaus Zbyszko, which also ended in a draw.

Continuing his training, Gama Pehlwan ultimately defeated both of these opponents in rematches, earning himself the titles of Champion of India and World Champion. His career spanned multiple decades and more than five thousand matches, ending undefeated.

In 1947, after the Independence of Pakistan, Gama moved to Lahore and spent the remainder of his days there. He passed away on May 23, 1960.