The two-time Asian luge champion, Shiva Keshavan, is competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics with two other Indians, Nadeem Iqbal and Himanshu Thakur.

It is the fifth Olympics for Shiva Keshavan, but the first for him, or any Indian athlete, to be competing as an independent participant under the Olympic flag as the Winter Olympics opened in Sochi on Friday.

The 33-year-old Shiva, whose luge competition is scheduled to begin on Saturday, would have been delighted to be competing under the national tri-colour, but the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA) could not conduct its election prior to the scheduled date of February 9, despite suggestions to that effect from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“'We are proud to be marching under the Olympic flag. It represents the highest levels of ethics, fair play and sportsmanship. I would like to thank the IOC for this opportunity,” Shiva was quoted as saying in a release issued on his behalf.

Even when the IOA was busy amending its Constitution with the right interpretation for the clause dealing with ‘charge-framed’ officials, the IOC had cleared the Indian athletes to compete in the Winter Games under the Olympic flag.

The two-time Asian champion, Shiva is competing in the Winter Olympics with two other Indians, Nadeem Iqbal and Himanshu Thakur.

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