India's veteran luger says he prefers the thrills of his death-defying sport over cricket's long lunch and tea breaks
Rosa Khutor: India's veteran luger Shiva Keshavan said yesterday that he prefers the death-defying sport to the more sedate game of cricket — risking the wrath of a billion compatriots.
Keshavan, competing in his fifth Olympic Games — this time under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told AFP: "In fact I enjoy every game that people are playing. But cricket is too slow for me.
All of these tea or lunch breaks make it too long. Definitely, cricket is not my favourite!" The 32-year-old, who made his Olympic bow in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, also said he was sad at not being able to compete under the Indian flag at Sochi.
The IOC froze India's membership in December 2012 and suspended it from the Games movement after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elected a number of tainted officials to key posts.
The IOA is holding fresh elections on February 9 but as that date falls after Friday's opening ceremony, the athletes will take part as independent competitors.
"It's a very sad situation for us. We are amateur athletes and our only pride is to represent our country," said Keshavan, born in a small village in the foothills of the Himalayas.
"It's a big disappointment to compete under the other flag. But we understand the IOC action because we have a lot of problems with corruption in sports.
We have so many mountains, 3,000 kms of Himalayas but not enough facilities for training. I hope the IOC decision will help to change our situation in the future."