Not many athletes in India can boast of Winter Olympic participation. But Shiva Kesavan, 28, is all set to participate in his fourth consecutive quadrennial Games to be held in Vancouver next year. Kesavan, who at 17 became the youngest Indian to participate in the Winter Games in 1998, cannot believe he did it at such a young age.
Now, over a decade since his first experience of the grand stage, Kesavan is a veteran of luge sport. He became the first Indian to win a luge medal — a bronze — in the Asian Championship in 2008.
"I can't believe it has been that long.
Honestly, I don't realise I am still so young. For a luge player, the early 30s is the peak of his career, so I still have some time to improve my game," said Kesavan.
"My understanding of the game has improved a lot and, after the bronze medal, I have got a competitive edge. I hope to build on it and win some more medals," he added.
But Kesavan had lost all hope and was on the verge of quitting in 2006. "I was thinking about quitting because of the lack of opportunities. But now, with a new administration, I have some sponsors. Things are finally in place," he said.