Dipa Karmakar has created history by being the only woman ever to represent India in Olympics in a sport that might be an endangered sport in our country. She is also the first Indian gymnast going to Olympics after 52 years, since our last representation in 1964.
For India’s gymnastics queen Dipa Karmakar, the obstacles started coming from a very young age, but with each stumbling block, she learnt to grow stronger, more resilient, and ultimately reach for the sky. From not having proper place to practice to not having the proper shoes that would aid her to somersault, the Tripura with her sheer determination has come a long way.
Dipa masters in ‘Produnova’ vault, whose execution is quite grave and involves the strongest determination, concentration and will power. The routine which is made up of a front handspring and two front somersaults threatens to invite death if there’s one tiny slip. It is of such a concern that there have even been discussions on completely banning it.
Flourishing in her abilities and pushing the boundaries, Karmakar is today just one out of five women to have successfully completed such a daring somersault.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow was her first big trial. By then, she had dominated the domestic circuit, winning both the Junior Nationals as well as the Seniors. After narrowly missing out on a medal at the 2014 Asian Games where she finished fourth in vault, she went on to add the bronze in that category at the 2015 Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships. In between, she reached unprecedented heights in her chosen discipline as she logged the highest score on a Produnova with a 15.100. She further created history with her qualification for Rio when she scored 14.833 to finish with a gold medal in the women’s vaults finals in the qualifying event in Brazil.
Out of the four events in women’s Artistic Gymnastics – vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor, Dipa has been performing really well in the vault.
Recently, Dipa was credited with ‘Gymnaste de Classe Mondaile’ or ‘World Class Gymnast’, by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). All her achievements have given the country all the hope for getting a medal in a sport as forgotten as Gymnast.
With her coming, Gymnastics is no longer considered as an alien sport not worthy of our attention. Dipa Karmakar has done what Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal has done for their sports. She is the shining lady of Gymnast today in our country, and with an Olympic representation, the sport will definitely get the much needed boost.
Karmakar might be leaping for a Rio Olympic medal, and in a few days’ time, may even grab one, but this will undoubtedly remain her biggest achievement till date. Biggest achievement for her, and biggest achievement for the almost-in-abyss sport.