"We were not allowed to fly the tri-color and wear any dress on which is written India when the Games began due to IOA's suspension but after the suspension was lifted, we can now proudly fly our national flag and wear dresses with India written on them," he said. Asked about the ceremony, Thakur said, "Six of us along with the IOA president stood in a line. First the IOC flag was raised and then the tri-color with the national anthem sung at the background."
The raising of the tri-color symbolically marked the end of India's suspension, a week after the IOA conducted its elections on the diktat of the IOC. IOA's new president Ramachandran said, "I am thrilled and delighted. I don't look into the past. I only look for the future." Thakur also said that IOC president Thomas Bach came at the Mountain Village in the morning and met the Indian athletes over breakfast. "The IOC president came at the Mountain Village and had breakfast with us this morning. He interacted with us and it was a nice feeling," he said. Indian tri-color did not fly in the Sochi Games Village as the IOA was serving suspension when the Games started on Feb. 7. But the IOC revoked the suspension on Feb. 11, which cleared the way for the Indian flag being hoisted at the Games Village. The three athletes took part in the opening ceremony under the IOC flag. Now they will also be able to take part in the closing ceremony oh February 23 with the tri-color in their hands. Himanshu said he had goosebumps witnessing the hoisting of the tri-color. "It was a special moment when you see your country's flag being raised in the Games Village. I was so thrilled that I had goosebumps. It was a wonderful feeling," said Himanshu who is competing in the men's Giant Slalom competition on February 19. Keshavan had to take part as Independent Olympic Participant in his 37th finish in men's luge singles event as India was still under suspension when he competed on February 8 and 9. Iqbal participated as an Indian athlete and finished 85th out of 87 competitors in 15km classic run on Feb. 14. "The symbolic change has happened and now we need to see the real change," said Keshavan.