The Gymnastics Queen of India
They say if there is a will there’s a way. Who knows it better than the courageous and fearless Dipa Karmakar – The first female gymnast to compete in Olympics. To excel in a sport that isn’t much popular in India and still shine at the International stage is a huge achievement.
Hailing from a humble background, Dipa was born on August 9, 1993 in Agartala – The capital city of the Indian state of Tripura. During the beginning of her gymnastic days, her coach noticed that Dipa, unfortunately was flat-footed. A characteristic that hinders the performance of the gymnasts and thereafter, both coaches and Dipa went through extensive training and hard work to develop an arch foot.
In 2008, she was the winner of Junior Nationals held in Jalpaiguri. She was also a part of the Indian Gymnastics Contingent during the 2010 commonwealth games held in Delhi. She was also a part of the Indian gymnastics contingent during the 2010 commonwealth games held in Delhi.
Dipa Karmakar’s senior career started in the 2011 National games of India where she outshined by winning gold medals in all the four events of floor, vault, balance beam and uneven bars, representing her state Tripura.
Owing to her impeccable and extraordinary skill of performing Produnova vault – A vault with a difficulty level of 7.00. In the 2014 Commonwealth games held in Glasgow, Karmakar won a bronze medal in the women’s vault final, thus becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to win a medal at the commonwealth championship.
At the 2014, Asian games held in South Korea, Karmakar secured fourth position in the vault final with a score of 14.200. Although, she seemed gratified with her performance mentioning that the top two position were occupied by the gold and silver medalists in the olympics whereas the third positioned girl was a bronze winner at the world championships.
In the 2015 Asian Championships held in Hiroshima, Karmakar won the bronze medal in the women’s vault. In October 2015, Dipa added another feather to her cap by becoming the first Indian gymnast to qualify for a final stage at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship. In the finals, she secured 5th position with a two vault average of 14.683.
2016 Rio Olympics : The game changer for Dipa
Although Dipa had been representing India and winning medals for quite some time but she wasn’t much popular among the Indian masses until the Rio Olympics 2016 which brought her into the limelight as she impressed everyone by her amazing performance. In the finals of the olympics event, Dipa finished 4th with a score of 15.066 but she impressed everyone by performing the rare, risky and stunning Produnova vault. Thus becoming only the 5th person in history to land the Produnova – the most difficult move in gymnastics. Impressed by her performance at the Olympics, she was lauded countrywide and was even presented with BMW by the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Dipa is truly an inspiration for all the budding athletes as she symbolises courage, hardwork and dedication.
You go girl!