August 25, 1981 |
Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India
|Achievements and titles|
Shiva Keshavan (born August 25, 1981) is a five time Olympian and the first Indian representative to compete in luge at the Winter Olympic Games. He set a new Asian speed record at 134.3 km/h (83.5 mph) after beating the previous record of 131.9 km/h (82.0 mph) and won gold medal in Asia Cup 2011 at Nagano in Japan. In 2012, he set a new Asian track record at 49.590 seconds.
Keshavan picked up luge when he was selected at a training camp in Himachal at the age of 15. Keshavan won the Junior National Ski Championship in 1995 at the age of 14. He attended a luge camp conducted by world champion Günther Lemmerer. Keshavan was selected as a promising young athlete and went on to become the youngest person to ever officially qualify for the Olympic Games in luge. He was offered to represent Italy in 2002, but refused. In 2014, Keshavan walked as an Independent Olympic Participant at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi due to the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association. However, later on during the Sochi Winter Olympics, Indian Olympic Association made a comeback as a recognized country by the International Olympic Committee resulting in Keshavan competing under the Indian flag.
In November 2014, Keshavan collaborated with Duncan Kennedy to train for 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Duncan will act as Keshavan’s personal coach while leveraging his technical expertise to improve Keshavan’s sled.
Keshavan is the son of an Indian father from Kerala and an Italian mother. He was born and brought up in Manali, Himachal Pradesh and attended Lawrence School, Sanawar. He married Namita Agarwal, a former classmate at school, who is also his sports manager. He studied humanities and political science at the University of Florence and received a Master's degree in International relations from the University of Florence.
Awards and achievements
- Arjuna Award, Government of India - nominee, 2012
- Parshuram Award, Government of Himachal Pradesh - nominee, 2012
- NDTV Outstanding performer of the year award- winner, 2012
- Asian Luge cup – Gold Medal, 2011 & 2012
- Asian Luge cup – Silver Medal, 2009
- Asian Luge cup – Bronze Medal, 2005 & 2008
- World record for youngest ever Olympian
- First Indian to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games
Keshavan has been promoting the cause of winter sports in India. A grassroots level luge camp was held in India by Keshavan in 2009 for 50 young athletes interested in trying the sport. 10 were selected to form the Junior National Luge team to train in Japan.
Keshavan gained some fame after a training session during which he fell off his sled and yet managed to climb back on and complete the run; the video of the training run was shared widely on the internet.
- [dead link]
- "Shiva Keshavan". india-today.com. Archived from the original on 2001-02-24.
- Bolan, Kim (2009-11-06). "Indian luger Shiva Keshavan defines 'makeshift' for 2010 Games". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 2009-11-10.
- "Indian luger Shiva Keshavan crashes, then makes amazing save". NBCOlympics.com. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "Indian Luger Shiva Keshavan becomes overnight Sensation at Sochi". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 8 February 2014.