It was a good year for Indian sports and Shiva Keshavan just made 2008 better.
In case you didn’t hear about it, India’s most famous luger won a bronze medal at the Asia Cup this December, three years after his first podium finish at Nagano(Japan).
What’s luge? Well, it’s been a Winter Olympics sport since 1964 and involves a high-speed sled ride through a semi-circular ice track.
At 27, Keshavan is already a luge veteran — having taken part in three Winter Olympics and now preparing for his fourth at Vancouver next year.
On Christmas Eve in 2005, Keshavan won his first international medals in the sport, picking up a bronze (singles) and silver (doubles) at the Nagano Asia Cup.
Two months later, at the Torino Olympics, Keshavan finished 25th — a creditable result considering only a second separated him from the gold medallist in terms of best lap time.
Moreover, Keshavan did it against all odds — no funding or help from a defunct national luge association.
He’s got himself some sponsors now and is back on the luge track after a sabbatical of nearly two years.
So here’s wishing Keshavan best of luck for a Herculean task in 2010 — bagging India’s first medal at the Winter Olympics.
INTERVIEW (July 31, 2007)