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Representing India has been ‘nothing short of celebration’: Shiva Keshavan

Shiva Keshavan took part in his sixth and final Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang.

other sports Updated: Feb 12, 2018 23:25 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Pyeongchang
Shiva Keshavan,Winter Olympics,luge
Indian luger Shiva Keshavan in action during the men’s singles event at the 2018 Winter Olympics at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Pyeongchang.(Reuters)

A day after he quit the sport during the Winter Olympics here, luger Shiva Keshavan today 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, yesterday 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.

READ | Luger Shiva Keshavan retires with 34th place finish at Pyeongchang Olympics

“I started my Olympic journey as a young, 16 y/o. They say time flies when you enjoy what you’re doing. Here I am, 6 Olympics old. What an emotional and exciting ride its been,” Keshavan said in the first of a series of tweets.

“Every minute, every race representing this wonderful country has been nothing short of a celebration. Thank you!,” he said.

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.

READ | Luger Shiva Keshavan placed 34th after 2 rounds at 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics

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 today. He will compete in the 15-km Nordic skiing freestyle event on February 16.

READ | For Shiva Keshavan, it was a road race that started it all

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.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 22:59 IST