India’s Shiva Keshavan among five included in Olympians For Life hall of fame
Beijing, Feb. 16 (IANS): Indian Winter Olympics pioneer Shiva Keshavan has been inducted into the Olympians For Life hall of fame for his role in promoting the Winter Olympics, winter sports, luge and the spirit of Olympianism.
Keshavan is the first Indian winter-sport participant and second overall after boxer MC Mary Kom to be named Olympian For Life. Mary Kom was inducted in 2016 during the Rio Olympics.
Keshavan, the first Indian to represent the country in Winter Olympics and in luge in 1994, has participated in six Olympics, has won gold in the Asian Luge Cup and also held the Asian speed record.
He was on Tuesday among five Olympians who were inducted into the World Olympians Association’s Olympians For Life hall of fame for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in an online function.
The Olympians For Life programme was launched by the World Olympians Association in 2016 during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. As per this programme, five persons that have participated in the Olympics have declared Olympians For Live during every Summer or Winter Olympics since 2016.
Apart from Keshavan, others that were named Olympians For Life for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are Simidele Adeagbo of Nigeria who participated in the skeleton; Alain Calmat of France who participated in figure skating; Clara Hughes, a speed skater from Canada and Ben Sandford of New Zealand, who participated in skeleton.
Keshavan is the first and only five-time Olympian to be included on the occasion of the Beijing 2022 Games.
Keshavan was inducted for his trailblazing achievements and initiatives in grassroots development programmes to grow winter sports within India.
“My experience as an Olympian gave me a great platform to help provide more opportunities for younger generations to get involved with sport. There is a lot of value that Olympians can add to a country’s sporting success post their competitive career. The next ambition of mine is to continue to promote the Winter Games and the Olympian movement in India and the wider Himalayan region,” Keshavan was quoted as saying on the occasion.