The Luge is a winter sports game where a person rides on a balanced sled while lying with legs first. The sport is usually played on an ice track using gravity to expand the speed. The person who rides on a balanced(flat) sled is called a luger. A luger(like Shiva Keshavan) uses calf muscles or applies push from the opposite shoulder to steer the sled. For single racing, the sled weight is 21-25 Kg while 25-30 Kg for doubles. The luge game is also known as an Olympic sport in some regions.
History Of Luge Game(Shiva Keshavan Game)
The Luge game is originated from the health-spa town of St Moritz, Switzerland. The first organized meeting of Luge was founded by the International Sled Federation in Dresden, Germany. The Luge game was first played in 1964 in Winter Olympics for men, women, and doubles. The open event is first scheduled in 1994 for men only. After the Olympics event has happened, the game becomes more popular. Day by day the artificial tracks have been completed in most regions.
Popular athletes in the Luge game
Some famous Luge athletes in the world who make a presence in Olympics
- (i) Natalie Geisenberger
- (ii) George Hackl
- (iii) Felix Loch
- (iv) Chris Mazdzer
- (v) Armin Zoggeler
- (vi) Tatjana Hufner
- (vii) Shiva Keshavan
- (viii) Tobias Wendl
- (ix) Tobias Arlt
- (x) Andris Sics
Who is Shiva Keshaavan?
Shiva Keshaavan, a popular Indian Luge athlete was born on 25 August 1981 in Manali town of Himachal Pradesh, India. When he was at the age of 3 years, he tried skied using his homemade wooden sled. He is an ice skating lover as a child and he won Junior National Ski Championship in 1995. His educational career includes political science and humanities subjects while he was studying at the University of Florence. A long hai and the handsome looking guy also completes a Master’s degree in Internation relations from the University of Florence.
At the age of 16, he becomes a young Luge athlete to qualify for the 1998 Nagano games. He cracked a new Asian record with 134.3 km/h speed beating the previous one. He gained a Gold Medal in the Asian Luge games in Japan. In 2012, he sets an Asian champion record at 49.590 seconds. Later, he was qualified for the Winter Olympic games held in Sochi, Russia. Before Shiva Keashavan qualified for the Sochi Olympics, the Luge game is not popular in India.
Shiva Keshaavan Luge Olympic Athlete Inspiration
As day by day, the Luge game becomes famous and artificial tracks have been completed in many parts of the world, but not in India. There was not many Luge track in India before Shiva Keshavan represents in Olympics, because of the unpopularity of the game. He was forced to play at practice in the global circuit. Therefore Shiva started to practice with US former Luge director. Shiva Keshavan is the first Indian Luge Athlete by which the Indians know what the Luge game is. He is a six time Olympian and the first Indian in the history of the Olympics to represent India.
Early in his career, he borrows sleds to participate in the first five Olympic games. His competence used to travel with their own sled, coaches, psychologists, and sponsors. But Shiva did not have even a coach to train him. Just before the World cup, his sled got damaged. At the final time for the game to begin, he borrowed a set of sleds. The sleds are of the wrong size. Therefore, he hardly qualified as a competent.
In 2006, he did not participate in events due to a lack of money. In the 2014 Sochi Olympics, he runs out of money to participate. But crowdfunding on the internet will let him participate in 2014 and come out as 50,000 donors. The government also sanctioned 21 Lacs Indian Rupees to pay some training fees.
Shiva Keshaavan Luge Training
From the early stage of his career, he used to practice with his homemade wooden sleds on the Himalayans roads. He used to customize his sled using wheels. He did appoint any coach in most parts of his Luge career. Most of his career went to find a sponsor for training and tour. Duncan Kennedy was a great and emerging pilot of the Luge team for the United States. Kennedy became a technical director after retiring from Unites Staes Luge team at Sochi Olympics. Then he became the first ever coach of Shiva to build a custom size sled. Now, the government appoint him as a director to train Indian kids and find a roadmap for Luge tracks in India.
He got an offer in 2002 to get training under Italian coaches and an Italian police job in off-seasons to represent Italy, but he declined it. He said that “His dream is to get an Olympics for the Hometown and I am continuing with my nation. That’s why I am here.” He was not that much strong financially, but his poverty did not affect his goals.
In 2014, he was the only player in the Olympics to take part in the Luge game. He finishes 37th rank out of 39 but is still a player in a lonely mission.
Shiva Keshaavan Family
Shiva Keshaavan is a son of Sudhakaran and Rosalba Keshaavan. His mother is Italian, therefore, his parents run an Italian restaurant called Rose Garden in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. Shiva Keshavan parents met in Manali while backpacking. He married his classmate Namita Aggarwal, a former classmate at high school. His wife also plays the role of sports manager. Shiva and Namita have a daughter. He has a sibling Devan grew together in the Himalayas that ran s adventure company, But Shiva has garb the career as a Sled. Devan has become successful in being a UEFA B license football coach.
Shiva Keshaavan Medals and Achievements
From 2005, Shiva Keshaavan cracked many medals in Asian Championship in Men’s Singles. He also gets many achievements in his life. Here is the medal and achievement list.
- 017 Altenberg – Gold Medal
- 2016 Nagano – Gold Medal
- 2015 Nagano – Silver Medal
- 014 Nagano – Silver Medal
- 2013 Nagano – Silver Medal
- 2012 Nagano – Gold Medal
- 2011 Nagano – Gold Medal
- 2009 Nagano – Silver Medal
- 2008 Nagano – Bronze Medal
- 2005 Nagano – Bronze Medal
- 2012 – NDTV performance of the Year
- 1998 Winter Olympics – Youngest Luge Olympian in History
- 1998 – First Indian to Qualify for Olympic Games.
He was nominated for Arjuna Award by the Indian government in 2012 and Parshuram Award by the Himachal government. He did not gain a hat trick of gold medals at the Asian Luge championship, but surely he cracked a silver medal in 2013. As time goes, a large number of people who belonged to sports were included in the list. In the last 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games, he was eliminated in the 4th round in Men’s Singles.
Shiva Keshaavan Luge Athlete Future Goals
He could not grab the medal in Olympics, but he is a complete winner of his lonely mission. Especially in a country where winter sports does not exist, The 36 year old Shiva Keshaavan, who has represented India in every event of the Winter Olympics since 1998, has decided to quit his Luge career in February 2018 event. He said I will focus on preparing next generation winter athletes”. On his retirement, Rosalba said, “I finally sleep well. I am sure he will go ahead on a new path.”
The Indian Luge Federation has appointed him as a Luge director because of his high performance. He will responsible for the Luge development roadmap in India. For the next twelve years, his focus is to catch talent, build Luge infrastructure, and generate high performance programs. Therefore, he ruled out the Bejing Olympics 2022 to focus on young Luge athletes. He also has some talks with the Ladakh administration about setting up a pet project in a sports academy. He said, “I am looking forward to a private-public partnership for the Winter sports Luge tracks and infrastructure.
He runs a talent scout competition in which about 200 kids have attended his Luge training. Shiva said, “I get heartbroken that the kids he trained will achieve something of India to have a peaceful and happy career.”
Shiva Keshaavan Net worth
Shiva Keshaavan is the most popular world Luge athlete who has a net worth of around 1.6 million dollars currently. From borrowing sled to 1.6 million net worth, he comes as an inspirations character for a country without any Luge infrastructure.