Acrobatic Dipa: A New Hope of India

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Avilash Majumder, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Dipa Karmakar, a 22-year-old tumbler from Agartala making history as the first woman India will send to the Olympics to compete in women’s gymnastics. The last time the country sent a gymnast to the Olympics was in 1964 when Debasis Mondal participated in the men’s competition. According to BBC, the sport doesn’t receive much funding from India’s government, and Dipa’s history making moment didn’t come easy. Though she started practicing when she was six, the gym was often flooded and poorly equipped. For her first competition, she was barefoot and wearing a borrowed, oversized costume.

Things, however, are more than definitely looking up for the record breaker. Aside from becoming the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in 52 years, Karmakar is also one of only five women to successfully land the daunting Produnova vault jump. (She was actually the third to do so and did it oh so flawlessly.)

After becoming the first Indian woman to win an international metal at 2014’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, she sort of became a local celebrity in her hometown of Tripura. In a BBC video, she speaks on her success and how she’s motivated to make her community proud. “I feel that I have to give more to my people. They have given me so much love, I feel the need to pay them back,” she says.

We’re sure she’ll pay them back in Rio in the coming August.

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