India Not Likely to Send its Competitors to Winter Olympics

While Indian athletes may be found at the Sochi Winter Olympics, at this time, they will not be there representing their country, but rather having found their own way there.

Just a few days ago, Shiva Keshavan and Nadeem Iqbal, found out that India would not be sending them to compete at Sochi. Iqbal is a cross-country skier, and Kehsavan is a luger. These two winter sports competitors have been training for Sochi, and are now finding out that while they may go, they will not be carrying the Indian flag. Himanshu Thakur, an alpine skier is the third competitor who is unable to go to the Sochi Witner Olympics if the government does not arrange sponsorship.

The sports ministry managed to break through some red tape and came up with a small amount of funding, however, this funding does not cover all that the players need, covering only the basic of room, board, and travel. These two competitors still need help to fund the cost of the equipment needed, as well as the clothes that they will compete in.

Keshavan has managed to raise his own funds in order to ensure that he can compete. He managed to arrange corporate sponsors, and raised funds on the Internet, with the help of his fans. This is the fifth time Keshavan will be competing in the Winter Olympics.

The reason there is no help for these athletes is because the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) is currently unable both to release funds and to make any official decisions. The IOA allowed an official to be voted in to a position of leadership unopposed in December 2012. This official had been linked to a corruption scandal from the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The International Olympic Committee suspended India from the Olympics until a new election was held.

India had already removed the official connected to the scandal, but set the date for the new election for 9th February. 9th February is simply too late for these three Winter Olympic athletes with the Sochi opening ceremony taking place two days before that.