15 Olympians to watch in Sochi
Shiva Keshavan, luger, Independent
Shiva Keshavan, India’s sole luger, is a four-time Olympic competitor -- but he and India’s two skiers, Himanshu Thakur and cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal, won’t represent India at Sochi because the nation has been suspended from competing due to corruption charges. Though Keshavan had “sufficient funds” to get to Sochi this year, the Asia Cup gold-medalist has faced an uphill battle to get there, without any coach, consistent source of funding, or track to practice on. Neither Iqbal nor Thakur had funds, until a Washington Post article about Keshavan, “India’s most prominent Winter Olympics athlete,” caught the world’s attention. Word of the trio’s hardships then spread quickly across the Internet, and soon Redditors had raised $7,000 in online currency Dogecoin to fund the three athletes. Keshavan, who cannot wear India’s colors, will compete in a red, gold and yellow cap that represents his home town, and a suit covered with signatures from fans.