In a first for Indian Winter Sports, India’s Fastest Long-Distance Ice Speed Skater, Vishwaraj Jadeja has won 4 medals at the Winter World Masters Games -- 2020 Innsbruck, Austria a multi sport winter sport event by the International Olympic Committee. With over 50 Countries and 3000 athletes participation.
Vishwaraj was on the podium for 3 Silvers on 3 Km, 5 Km and 10 Km and one Bronze medals on the 1 Km. These races were held on open to sky track where the natural conditions play a major role for example the 10 km and 1 Km races were done in the rain and snow at around zero degrees temperature. Takes a toll on the body physically and mentally.
"Standing on a podium with the Indian flag (which I have been carrying around for 9 years ) mean soo much. From not being able to walk to be able to race and race at a certain level gives a lot of confidence in the efforts put in so far, we are doing at least something right," he said.
Eyeing for the Asian Winter Games and the Winter Olympics, the Indian ice skater from Ahmedabad, Gujarat splits his time between Netherlands and India for a prolonged number of years. India, where there is no infrastructure for Ice Skating Long Track speed skating. For this, these medals feel extra special. Training under the champion maker coach Wim Nieuwenhuizen for long-track speed skating in the Netherlands.
In a build up to the games Vishwaraj had a series of near podium finishes in races across Europe from October 2019 to Jan 2020.
The WWMG is the world’s biggest winter games festival with multiple disciplines for 30+ year old.
“I competed after a prolonged break from the racing circuit. This year is poised to be a comeback year,”says Vishwaraj. The long distance speed skater’s over all dream goal objective is to achieve standings and timings to qualify for the Olympics (Beijing 2022) in the Olympic season.
In January 2019, Vishwaraj Jadeja set an unofficial world record for the highest 5km distance ice speed skating (the standard Olympic distance), at Lake Tsomoriri in Leh, State of Jammu & Kashmir in India, which happens to be one of the highest frozen lakes in the world at an altitude of 4,500 meters.