Prem Chand Degra - Mr. Universe 1988

Prem Chand Degra - Mr. Universe 1988

Prem Chand Degra comes from the village of Babri Nangal, Gurdaspur district in Punjab. Born on December 1st, 1955, he started his bodybuilding journey from Punjab and North India Championships in Jalandhar in 1980 when he won the tittle in his very first competition. From Punjab Police he joined TISCO in 1984 after winning his first Mr. Asian, Gold medal in 1983 in Karachi.

Prem Chand won Asian gold medal 5 years in a row. He won silver medal in 1986 World championships and won his World gold medal in the IFBB world championships in Australia in 1988. He is the only Indian, who has represented India in the Mr. Olympia. He won the Mr. Universe title in the short-height 80 kg category in 1988. He was also awarded the "Achievement Medal" by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) in 2003, for winning its World Middleweight Champion title in 1988.

Mr. Degra lives in Hoshiarpur (Punjab) and trains budding body builders in his own gym. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Premchand Degra has striven hard to mould his body into a muscular delight. He began his sports career as a wrestler after completing his matriculation from Government High School of the neighboring Tibber village in 1973. It was only in 1980 that he developed an interest in body building and rose to be crowned Mr. Punjab, Mr. North India, Mr. India (9 times in a row), Mr, Asia (8 times) and finally Mr. World (Middle-weight class) and Mr. Universe.

The world title earned him the Padma Shri in 1990. Earlier he had received the Arjuna Award in 1986. He is also the recipient of the Punjab Government's Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award (1994), Tata best Sportsman Award (1986) Charminar Challenge Trophy. Prem made his national debut by claiming a Bronze Medal in Middle-Weight Class at Darjeeling in 1980. He followed it up by winning three Gold Medals next year that made him Mr. Punjab, Junior Mr. India and Senior Mr. India 1981. He retained the title of Mr. India in middleweight category 1984. Thereafter he moved over to Light Heavy Weight Class and for next five years (1985–1989) won the title of Mr India in this class too. He began his international career by bagging the title of Mr. Asia in Middle-weight Class at Karachi in 1983, a feat he was to repeat at Seoul in 1984. Subsequently he switched over to Light Heavy-weight Class in Mr. Asia contest too, winning the title at Colombo in 1985, Taipei in 1986 and Malaysia in 1987.


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