Dilip Tirkey was born to Vincent Tirkey, an Oraon Adivasi & former Odia hockey player and Regina Tirkey on November 25, 1977 at Sundargarh, Odisha.
Dilip Tirkey joined Indian National Hockey Team in 1995 and in the same year he played his first International Hockey match against England, in the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup. He rose to prominence due to his immense contribution in the field of Indian sports. With his hard work, consistent performance and talent, he became the Captain of the National Hockey team at a very young age and the team played under his captain-ship for almost 10 years.
Tirkey has played in three Olympics so far. He represented India in 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics. He is the only Odia to represent India in three Olympics. He was best known for his penalty corner hit and was one of the most difficult defenders to beat in the world. He has a total of 412 international caps.
He is a great icon of inspiration for many people from backward classes and has made Odisha feel proud for him. He has shown excellence in the field of hockey and proved himself as one of the most elegant player in the world.
Tirkey announced his retirement from International arena on 2nd May 2010.
For his dedication and excellent performance in hockey, Dilip Tirkey won many awards and prizes. Amongst the most important one’s are the ‘Ekalavya Puraskar’ in 1996, the ‘ONGC-Hockey Year Book Award’ in 1998, the ‘Arjun Award’ in 2002, the ‘Padma Shree Award’ in 2004, ‘Biju Patnaik Sportsperson of the Year Award’ in 2004, ‘Ricoh Hockey Star of the Year’in 2009 and ‘Pria Odia (top Odisha personality) Award’ in 2010.
He was recently elected Rajya Sabha MP in April, 2012.