January 29, 2020
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Shiva Keshawan

India’s first winter Olympian on his conflict with the Winter Games Federation of India

Shiva Keshawan
Shiva Keshawan
What was your problem with the WGFI?
People heading sports federations are looting the country's resources. The youth must fight and throw these corrupt officials out.

For our four athletes, how many officials joined the delegation?
Eight at the Olympic Village and several outside.

Why were you not allowed to carry the flag during the opening ceremony?
I was given the impression that I would be the flag-bearer until the last moment.

Did the officials threaten to throw you out of the team before the Torino games began?
It was a recurrent show of authority. Even coaches and assistants were repeatedly threatened.

How much financial support did you receive from them between '02-06?
Nothing from WGFI. The Himalayan Ski Village was the first private institution to support winter Olympians. For the first time, the sports ministry helped.

What about your showing at the games?
I could've done better in the first heat if I had been more relaxed but I put down three solid runs and gained five positions in the second.

Why do you practice in Italy?
They don't allow foreigners on the Olympic track. I had to train in other European countries.

How did you get into luge?
Destiny. How else could I explain being invited to a luge camp by an ex-luge world champion?

Advice for kids interested in winter sports?
Nothing is impossible.

The Sports Illustrated called you a winner of hearts.
I've competed with the aim to win. I guess that won a lot of sympathy from the fans in Italy.

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