Dipa Karmakar, India’s sporting sensation, has created history yet again. She has won the gold medal at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Turkey. A woman of substance, Dipa has yet again proved that grit, determination and hard work can make a person achieve the unimaginable. She had been out of action due to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury for a long time and had even pulled out of major international events because of it. But her return has been exemplary and a fine instance of what a real sportsperson is made of.
Steel and grit – that’s what Dipa is.
Earlier, the 22-year-old from Tripura, created history when she became the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. She gathered a total score of 52. 698 points in the final artistic gymnastics qualifying event in Rio. Though India has had a steady, but small, male presence in the category—11 male gymnasts have taken part in the Olympics since 1952—this was definitely a first for an Indian woman. She finished 4th, missing the bronze by a whisker and created history by being the 5th woman in the world to successfully attempt the Produnova vault.
Here are some interesting facts about the sports star.
- She belongs to Agartala, Tripura.
- Her father, Dulal Karmakar, is a weightlifting coach with the Sports Authority of India.
- She got inducted into gymnastics at the young age of 6. From then to now, there has been no looking back.
- As a kid, she was flat-footed, which is not good for a gymnast.
- She was also fearful of heights and falling. As such, attempting the beam was a nightmare for her.
- At 22, she is just 5 feet tall, yet the laurels she brings are way higher.
- Since 2007, Dipa has won a total of 77 medals, out of which 67 are gold. But her moment of glory came, when she won the bronze at the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow in 2014.
- She is one of only five women in the world who have successfully performed the Produnova vault, a difficult gymnastic move which, if gone wrong, can lead to life-threatening injuries.
- Such was her dedication that in order to perfect the vault, she would keep a weekly tally. Her final was at 127!
- She received the Arjuna Award in 2015.
- She is the first female Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.
- Her coach’s name is Bisbeshwar Nandi, who has been involved with her training since she started.
A true inspiration. For all future sportswomen and gymnasts, Dipa Karmakar will be a guiding light of immense motivation. She has indeed made the country proud.