(10 March 1935 – 24 June 2001) Mohammad Bashir remains the only wrestler in Pakistan’s sports history to have won an Olympic medal. He won a bronze medal in the Rome Olympics 1960 and contributed to Pakistan’s best ever Olympics performance in which the country took two medals, the other being gold in field hockey. Bashir won the bronze medal in freestyle wrestling in the welterweight class: 73kgs. Of his seven bouts in the welterweight class, he won four. In the final round, he was beaten by both contestants who finished ahead of him, Turkey’s Ismail Ogan who took silver and the United States’ Douglas Blubaugh who earned the gold medal. At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Bashir competed in the lightweight class (70kgs) but only went up to the third round. Despite having very limited resources in early years of Pakistan, Bashir, born in Lahore on 10 March 1935, continued to perform well and took gold medals in Asian Games as well as in Commonwealth Games. Bashir, one of Pakistan’s most celebrated wrestlers in its history, won three gold medals in the Commonwealth Games – as did his compatriots Mohammad Akhtar and Faiz Mohammad – and also four medals in the Asian Games. His Commonwealth Games gold medals were earned at 1958 Cardiff, 1962 Perth and 1966 Kingston. His medals at the Asian Games are: gold at 1966 Bangkok, two silver medals at 1962 Jakarta, one in freestyle and the other in Greco-Roman style, in addition to a bronze medal at 1958 Tokyo. Bashir received the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz medal in 1962 and the Pride of Performance award in 1968 from the Government of Pakistan.Government neglect and poverty has helped consign the glorious feats of Pakistan wrestlers, locally called ‘pehelwan’, to fast-fading memory. Only a handful carry the torch for the next generation and few command the thousands of spectators of days gone by. It is quite unfortunate that there exists not much record on his life and achievements and today’s generation has forgotten heroes like Bashir. He died in Lahore on June 24, 2001. Published in Daily Times, August 21st , 2017.