The veteran luger wishes to create a smoother pathway for the upcoming winter sports athletes from the country.
India’s pioneer in the Winter Olympics, Shiva Keshavan, aspires to promote winter sports in the hilly terrains of the country. The luger is a six-time Olympian and he wishes to make use of his experience and aptitude of the game to nurture newer talents.
“There are 50-60 million people living in the Himalayas who can use sport to work in fields such as tourism, development, hospitality, science, and technology. It is something I’d really forward to dedicating more of my life to,” Shiva Keshavan mentioned to Firspost in a recent interview.
He further continued, “I’d also like to foster an Olympic way of life, you know, the philosophy of the Olympic Games. I’d like to take the core message of the Olympics to the people.”
Victories and triumphs in the winter sports continue to remain an aberration in India. On the other hand, Shiva Keshavan first turned up for the nation in the Winter Olympics way back in 1998. Naturally, it must have been quite a challenge for the sportsperson to avail the facilities required for such a technical sport.
“I don’t think of the past a lot. I try to think about what I can do for future generations. I have had my share of struggles, but now I want to make things easy for the next generation,” he remarked. Shiva even went on to assert, “I think India has tremendous potential for winter sports. We are not even scratching the surface in terms of understanding it.”
The Asian Luge Championships gold medalist’s mother hails from Italy. Accordingly, the Italian luge team had offered him their coaches and training facilities if Shiva agreed to represent the European country. He had turned down that offer. Speaking on that, he observed, “I never really had an ambition for fame or money. I would feel alive in the track…I would feel I am part of something really passionate.”
“When I got the opportunity to represent the country, I felt committed to a cause far bigger than myself, and despite everything, I’d say I am lucky that I had this chance,” he concluded. The luger had to tackle several financial challenges in his career and relied on crowdfunding to aid his training. Hence, Shiva Keshavan looks determined to create a better pathway for the up and coming winter sports athletes from the country. However, the steps that he takes in the coming times to ensure the same remains to be seen.