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General 3-man Indian Olympic team gets donated uniforms

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    source: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/11/bc-indian-olympic-team-vancouver.html

    3-man Indian Olympic team gets donated uniforms

    By CBC News - Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Metro Vancouver's Indo-Canadian community is rallying together to provide funding and uniforms to the three-man Indian Winter Olympic team.

    Metro Vancouver's Indo-Canadian community is rallying together to provide funding and uniforms to the three-man Indian Winter Olympic team.

    Longtime South Asian broadcaster Shushma Datt heard about the team's financial woes and organized a fundraiser in Surrey, east of Vancouver, on Wednesday night.

    "I guess these are sports that people don't pay much attention to and it's just from a small part of India. When we were told they needed help, we decided that we would," said Datt.

    When T.J. Johal, the owner of Sports Unlimited in Surrey, heard that the team had no uniforms for the opening ceremonies he was shocked.
    'They're from India, the land of clothing, and they have no clothes to wear.'? T.J. Johal, owner of Sports Unlimited
    "My first reaction was, you're kidding me. They're from India, the land of clothing, and they have no clothes to wear, but that's just how it is in Third World countries," he said.

    Johal decided to donate the uniforms himself, because he felt it was important for the athletes to fit in and feel like champions.

    Getting India's flag embroidered onto the clothes in time for the opening ceremonies on Friday is going to be tight, he said.

    "For some of the U.S. teams, money is not an object. And even our Canadian contingency's got some really nice gear. It shows some pride and self-esteem. These guys don't have anything, and they're performing on confidence levels," he said.

    Athletes grateful for all help

    Three-time Olympian Indian luger Shiva Keshavan told the gathering he was grateful for the support.

    "The Olympics is where we are showing our country's pride to the world so we need to have a good uniform," he said.

    "We don't have a luge track. We don't have real world-class ski slopes with lifts and things like that. But I am sure we are part of a generation which has had to do things the hard way," he said.

    Keshavan is no stranger to hardships and charitable help. He was recently given money by a group of lawyers in India to get a new luge sled, after they heard his old one held together by duct tape and screws had fallen apart.

    "I've got lots of interest and a lot of help from unexpected quarters like these lawyers. You know when they heard about this news, I didn't know them or anything, they immediately pitched in this money and they said, 'You go get yourself a new sled immediately,'" he said.

    After more than a decade of competing, Keshavan said he received his first funding from the Indian government last year, amounting to $20,000 US.
    "It means a lot to an athlete because so far we don't participate for money or for any kind of fame or anything you know. But to have the support of the people and to feel that we're actually representing that means a lot," he said.

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
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