News / Asia

Indian Trades Rollerblades for Ice Skates in Pursuit of Olympic Dream

Indian Trades Rollerblades for Ice Skates in Pursuit of Olympic Dreami
X
February 21, 2014 5:20 AM
Many athletes dream of going for Olympic gold. But what happens when your sport is not in the Olympic games? For one Indian athlete, the answer was to switch sports and chase his dream thousands of kilometers from home. VOA's Carla Babb has more on the man who will stop at nothing to become an Olympic competitor.
Carla Babb
Many athletes dream of going for Olympic gold. But what happens when your sport is not in the Olympic games? For one Indian athlete, the answer was to switch sports and chase his dream thousands of kilometers from home.
 
Indian rollerblading champion Vish Jadeja was heartbroken when inline skating again failed to make the Summer Olympics. But he didn't give up. Instead, he swapped out his rollerblades for blades on ice. 
 
"Long-track ice skating for me, I thought, was close enough to be able to make the switch and then pursue that dream," said Jadeja.
 
Vish also traded the warm weather of Ahmedabad for Europe's frozen winters to pursue his Olympic dream.
 
"India, we don't have that infrastructure back home for anything for winter sports, so you have to move somewhere which it has," he said.
 
He now trains with the Dutch speed-skating power house. Initially those around him were skeptical, but his work ethic and determination has changed that, especially for his coach, Wim Nieuwenhuizin.
 
"I said, you are crazy, but if you are crazy, I can help you. I'd like to help you, because I am [crazy[ too," said Nieuwenhuizin.
 
Vish Jadeja failed to qualify for this year's Winter Games in Sochi, but after only 18 months of professional training, he is hopeful that four more years will prepare him for international success.
 
He is four seconds short of the qualifying time for the 500 meters, and he already has cut 30 seconds from his 5,000 meter time.
 
"We're constantly progressing, so we just need more time to progress, progress, progress and then, you know, you will see what happens," said Jadeja.
 
India has never had an athlete qualify for the Olympics in any of the skating sports, but Vish hopes to be the first, setting his sights on the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


  • Victor An of Russia reacts as he crosses the finish line ahead of Wu Dajing of China and Charle Cournoyer of Canada in the men's 500m short track speedskating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Canada forward Benn Jamie, right, shoots and scores against USA goaltender Jonathan Quick during the second period of a men's semifinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Women's gold medalist, United States' Mikaela Shiffrin, leaves the podium after the flower ceremony for the women's slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • The team from the United States USA-1, piloted by Steven Holcomb, take a curve during the men's four-man bobsled training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Austria's Katrin Ofner takes a jump during a women's ski cross seeding run at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • France's Ophelie David, Canada's Kelsey Serwa, Canada's Marielle Thompson and Sweden's Anna Holmlund (L-R) compete during the women's freestyle skiing skicross semi-finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Sweden's second Fredrik Lindberg is congratulated as skip Niklas Edin stands after winning their men's bronze medal curling game against China at the Ice Cube Curling Center, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Laura Fortino of Canada (8) gets an elbow in her mask from Jocelyne Lamoureux of the United States (17) during the third period of the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
  • Adelina Sotnikova of Russia competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
  • Li Zijun of China competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
  • Team Canada players pose with their gold medals during the presentation ceremony after Canada defeated Team USA in overtime in the women's ice hockey final game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid