HomeUncategorizedMahabharat’s Bheem alias Praveen Kumar was an Asian Games gold medallist too

Mahabharat’s Bheem alias Praveen Kumar was an Asian Games gold medallist too

Most of us remember Praveen Kumar Sobti as Bheem in BR Chopra’s iconic TV series Mahabharat (1988-90), though he was much more than an actor. He may have become a household name as Bheem, but Sobti, who passed away after a cardiac arrest on Monday evening at the age of 74 at his home in New Delhi, was a four-time Asian Games medal winner, bagging two gold medals, a silver and a bronze. He also took part in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

A former Deputy Commandant in the Border Security Force (BSF), he was bestowed with the Arjuna Award for his sporting achievements and represented India twice at the Olympic Games — Mexico in 1968 and Munich in 1972. A hammer and discus thrower in real life, he joined the BSF at the age of 20. 

The BSF shared a post remembering the national-level athlete and soldier, whose towering 6 foot-8-inch frame drew attention wherever he went. “Director General & All Ranks of BSF condole the untimely demise of Sh Praveen Kumar Sobti, former Deputy Commandant, Arjuna Awardee, two-time Olympian (1968 Mexico Games and 1972 Munich Games) & four-time Asian Games medallist (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze),” the post read, which also included throwback photographs of the Olympian. 

Of course, Sobti had a successful stint as an actor, too. Many may also remember him from Tinnu Anand’s hit 1988 film Shahenshah, in which Sobti played Mukhtaar Singh. He then went on to act in films like Karishma Kudrat Ka, Singhasan, Zabardast, Yudh, Khudgarz, Loha, Ilaaka and many more. Nevertheless, despite over 50 films to his credit, he remains most popular as Bheem on the small screen. Yet another TV role that brought him a fair amount of popularity was that of Saboo in the 2002 TV series Chacha Chaudhary, also starring Raghubir Yadav.

In 2013, Sobti contested the Delhi Assembly elections on an Aam Aadmi Party ticket, but lost. The following year, he went on to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. The actor-sportsman is survived by his wife, daughter, two brothers and a sister.

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