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Two Alpine skiers and a luger qualify for Sochi Winter Olympics; won't be able to carry Indian flag though

Thursday, 16 January 2014 - 12:08pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

Luger Shiva Keshavan and Alpine skiers Himanshu Thakur and Nadeem Iqbal have made it to the Olympic Games to be held in Russia later this year.

The Sochi Winter Olympic Games will take place in Russia from February 7 this year and three Indian athletes have made the cut for the games.

Luger Shiva Keshavan, Alpine skiers Himanshu Thakur and Nadeem Iqbal will represent India, a small contingent for a nation of more than a billion people.

However, the trio will not be allowed to carry the Indian flag as India's membership in the International Olympic Committee or IOC has been frozen since December 2012.

The IOC learned that India's elected officials in the Indian Olympic Association were accused of corruption and so India was suspended as a member of the elite athletic federation.

Only after new elections are held and non-corrupt people are appointed will India be granted re-entry. However, this will not happen before the Winter Games commence and so the three athletes will not be allowed to use the country's flag nor the national anthem at the event.

The athletes did not have funds to go for the Olympic Games but the Sports Authority of India (SAI) released funds immediately for them under the Scheme of Assistance to NSFs for the three sports persons and three coaches who would be accompanying them to Russia.

The athletes each needed about $7,500 to take part in the Olympics which has been taken care of.

However, the request for ski, ski boot, ski stick, ski suit and snow clothing which are not covered under the Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations has not yet been granted to the players but Sports Minister Jitendra Singh is looking into the matter.

Indian sports especially Olympic ones seem to be in a bad shape in the cricket loving nation. It's time the sports fans, government and sponsors woke up if India wants to stand any chance in other sporting events besides cricket.

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