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Five-time Olympian Shiva Keshavan on crowdfunding drive

Shiva Keshavan, the face of winter sports in India and a five-time Olympian, has turned to crowdfunding in order to sustain his career. Keshavan, who is India’s only professional luger, recently won a silver medal at the Asian Luge Championship in 2015. However, due to a lack of funds, he was unable to participate in the World Luge Championship held in Germany. Now, the 34-year-old is seeking financial contributions to help him compete in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Keshavan stated that he decided to explore crowdfunding after not receiving any assistance from the country’s sports ministry. He expressed his hope of carrying India’s national flag during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics but admitted that the funds raised from crowdfunding would only be a small contribution towards his overall expenses.

Explaining the breakdown of his financial requirements, Keshavan revealed that he needs nearly Rs 30 lakh for his coach’s salary for a year, Rs 12 lakh for equipment, Rs 13 lakh for training fees which include gym and physiotherapy expenses, and approximately Rs 20 lakh for travel expenses. Additionally, he would also need Rs 28 lakh for accommodation and meals. In total, Keshavan estimates that he will need just over Rs 1 crore.


Furthermore, Keshavan shared that his former coach, Duncan Kennedy, had to stop coaching him due to payment issues in 2015. Under Kennedy’s guidance, Keshavan won a silver medal at the Asian Luge Championship. Although Italy offered Keshavan citizenship and access to their luge facilities along with funding, he declined the offer out of patriotism.

Despite not having a single luge track in India, Keshavan has continuously represented the country at the Winter Olympics since his international debut at the age of 16 in 1998. He has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for financial support but has yet to receive a response from the government. As a result, Keshavan’s dream of achieving Olympic success is fading away.