“Look for corporate funding to sustain my career” – Shiva Keshavan

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Shiva Keshavan
Shiva Keshavan

Shiva Keshavan is the face of India so far as winter sports is concerned. A five time Olympian and also the first Indian representative to compete in luge at the Winter Olympic Games. Keshavan recently won a silver medal at the Asian Luge Championships in 2015 in Japan . He also has two gold medals in the Asia Cup and was the first Indian to qualify for the Winter Olympics. In an exclusive e-mail interview to ARIJEET DUTTA, the 34-year-old luger Shiva talks about his journey, his woes and his determination to win medals for the country despite all odds.

Excerpts from the Interview:

Q How did you get attracted to the sport?

A : I have been representing India Internationally for 20 years, ever since I was in high school, so it has become a part of me. Also the feeling of representing India at an international meet is something special.

Q How proud are you to represent India in winter sports?

A : It is an honour to be able to carry my country’s flag and carry the wishes of so many people at the highest level of international sport.

Q – Was this sport a childhood dream? how did your parents and family react?

A : My Parents always supported my decisions to choose my own path in life. When I had the opportunity to represent my country, I decided to give it my best.

Q- Tell us about your Silver medal in Asian Championship ? How important was it for you ?

A : Winning a medal at the Asian Level is an important milestone. It proves that Indians can win medals in winter sports despite the lack of infrastructure.

Q what are the obstacles you face while competing in your sport?

A : We don’t have the kind of sports infrastructure that other countries have. I was the first international Luge athlete from India so there are no Indian coaches and equipment manufacturers so I had to make up for all of that.

Q Have you approached the government in this regard. what did they say. If they do come forward to help what would be your suggestion?

A : I would be happy to pass on all my experience to others. I would be surprised if they take the initiative to do something

Q How disappointed are you as you have pulled out of the Luge World Championships in Germany and Luge World Cup due to lack of funds ?

A : I dedicated everything to train for the World Championships. it is disappointing that despite this I could not attend.

Q What are your goals for the future ?

A : Look for corporate funding to sustain my career, continue to improve my game and hopefully win more medals.

Q How do you see this sport becoming popular in India since making a mark in cricket crazy India and IPL is not an easy task?

A : I don’t think about that. There are more than 1 billion people in India and we all don’t have the same dreams and aspirations. Diversity is an important part of India.