A day after he retired from the sport during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, luger Shiva Keshavan on Monday said that representing the country for two decades has been “nothing short of a celebration”.
The 36-year-old Keshavan, the poster boy of winter sports in India for the last 20 years, brought the curtains down on his international career after taking part in his sixth Winter Olympics here. He finished 34th in the men’s luge singles event, his last international competition.
Son of an Indian father from Kerala and an Italian mother, Keshavan has represented the country in six consecutive Winter Olympics since the 1998 edition in Nagano, Japan.
He is the reigning Asian champion in luge and the speed record holder. He has won Asian Luge Championships in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017.
Keshavan thanked his family, friends, the IOA, the sports ministry, the SAI, his sponsors and supporters from India and abroad “for the exceptional support extended in the last couple of days as well as the 20 years of my career”.
“Thank you for keeping me motivated and pushing me to be my best.”
Meanwhile, the other Indian in the fray, cross country skier Jagdish Singh began his training runs on Monday. He will compete in the 15 km Nordic skiing freestyle event on February 16.
Jagdish arrived here just in time for the opening ceremony on February 9 after his departure from India was delayed due to confusion over who will accompany him as coach.