Indian luger Shiva Keshavan’s lament on his blog three months ago that the three-member contingent at the Sochi Olympics would suffer the “dubious distinction” of being the first Indians not competing under the Indian flag at an Olympic event came true on Friday.
As Mr. Keshavan, Alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal prepared to march under the Olympic flag at the inaugural ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in the Russian city, there was seething anger all over as disappointed sports lovers termed it a “national shame.” The International Olympic Committee had banned the Indian Olympic Association in December 2012.
Mr. Keshavan lamented in his personal blog www.100thofasec.com — in a post titled ‘Raising a Flag’ — on October 24, 2013: “As the summer games are still some time away (2016), us winter athletes might assume the dubious distinction of being the first Indians to not compete under our tricolour … What makes it ludicrous though is that in the past, athletes who participated under the Olympic flag were from politically disturbed countries … India has no such concern; it’s just a political mess, like any other.”
The Winter Olympics was scheduled for inauguration at the “Fisht” Olympic Stadium at 20:14 local time. It goes on till February 23.