The controversial Sochi 2014 winter Olympics have started amidst shadows of heavy corruption, bad organisation and poor preparation for the athletes and Sochi residents and to top it all a missing olympic ring from the logo. All these issues will surely get brushed under the carpet but the news of Indian participants marching without the Indian flag and as independent athletes is something that has not gone down too well with me and probably millions of Indian sports enthusiasts.
In my previous posts I have addressed the situation of the IOA ban and its potential outcomes and what IOA can expect if they flirt with danger (IOC) and while IOA had reluctantly agreed to obey the IOC rule we all thought its all done and dusted and Indian flag will wave at the games but to all our surprises it did not happen demonstrating IOC’s zero tolarance attitude towards National Olympic Committees. Indian officials make the IOC sound like bullies but Why the IOC has taken this hard brick walled approach is clearly because IOA has gone against the Olympic charter explained below:
Chapter 4, Article 28 of the Olympic charter focuses on The National Olympic Committees and ethics and promotion of the movement.
The mission of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement in their respective countries. The role of NOCs within each country is to promote the spirit of Olympicism, ensure the observance of the Olympic Charter, and to encourage ethics in and development of sports. They are in charge of their country’s representation at the Games, deciding on a host city for the Games, and cooperation with governmental and non-governmental bodies during the Games.
However, IOA has gone against the charter and our athletes are and will continue to pay a price for their non compliance with IOC charter. What is the price we pay if you may ask ?
Take the case of Shiva Keshavan, India’s grand old man of winter olympics. Shiva has represented India in 5 winter olympic games and is India’s sole representative in undoubtedly one of the fastest winter games sport’Luge’.
Shiva Keshavan grew up in the northern hill town of Manali, where he started skiing at the age of six, tramping up the slopes after every run because there were no ski lifts. He never gave up and after being invited to participate in a Luge camp at the age of 14 he finally worked his hat off and made it to his first games aged 16. Shiva had to take a long hard route to get to where he is now as there was not much support from the government and with no luge tracks in India, Shiva Keshavan had to work on his strength and endurance training by occasionally rolling down a highway on a wheeled sled zipping past herds of sheep trooping uphill, zooming ferociously under a truck that blocks the street etc. See Video for Shivas training routine in India.
After all the hardships Shiva has gone through the last thing he and other members of the India needed to hear is that they will not be participating as an Indian contingent but as independent athletes under IOC flag! This is highly demoralising for Shiva, his other Indian colleagues and to aspiring future Olympians.
Sochi 2014 will be a winter Olympic game for all Indian sports enthusiasts to remember for the rest of our lives as far as Shiva and the rest of the athletes are concerned we will continue to support you for who you are, what you’ve done and your undying spirit to represent our nation at the highest level possible. Whatever rankings you achieve we know that you will do your best and I sincerely hope our politicians and sports associations realise that they are destroying the sports culture and damaging our reputation in the Olympic circle.