Six-time Olympian and luge pilot Shiva Keshavan drew the curtains on an incredible career after the Pyeongchang Games last month. Despite not ending up on the podium, Keshavan probably celebrated the end of the luge runs in Pyeongchang more than any other competitor – and why not?
The 36-year-old was an inspiration not just for Indians but for aspiring athletes around the world as he overcame several struggles in a 20-year career almost entirely all by himself – with minimal support from the Indian government or others. He started his career by hurtling down the hilly roads of Manali on a sled fitted with wheels, dodging vehicular, human and animal traffic.
Despite hanging up his sled after Pyeongchang – although he admitted that you can never say never – Keshavan’s association with luge and winter sports is far from over. He now wants to find and mentor the next generation of luge pilots and winter sport athletes in India. “I think I’m in a very good position to build up a team now because I have all that accumulated experience and I know what I was lacking,” he told The Field in an interview.
Keshavan spoke candidly on a variety of topics: from his very first luge run to his last, the weird questions he was asked by people who were surprised to see an Indian luge pilot, his budgetary constraints through his career, memorable moments and the way forward for winter sports in India.
You can check out the entire interview here: