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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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.
Kanika Manocha, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Becoming the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the quadrennial event is not an achievement to be taken lightly as it brings glory and pride to the country. Apart from being the first Indian woman, she will also be an Indian gymnast qualifying for the quadrennial extravaganza after 52 long years. Her achievements have drawn nationwide acclaim, with India’s sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal praising her for taking gymnastics in the country to ‘a new high’.
The first Indian female gymnast to win a medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and follow it up with another bronze at the Asian Championships in Hiroshima, she also reached the final round of the 2015 World Championships and finished fifth. ‘On the day of the finals my leg was badly swollen,’ she said. ‘Everyone advised me against doing the vault. But I had to do it. I had to take that risk, because only after doing the toughest vault would I win a medal.’ Such is the level of inspiration and the passion she has for her sport. Indians are still in disbelief about her medal-winning potential, though the girl always knew she was gearing up for something big.
The sport of gymnastics has been in turmoil in the country in the last few years with rival factions holding elections and claiming to be the national federation. Even the camps for the gymnasts has been held under the aegis of Sports Authority of India. She thought of bringing the change and mastered the world’s most difficult gymnastic vault. Hope she continues to bring glory to the nation and keep up her passion and zeal for the sport. She truly is an inspiration for many of us.