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Dipa Karmakar reveals why she chose gymnastics and not any other sport

India Today logo India Today 03-09-2016
© AP Photo

Dipa Karmakar created history by becoming the first ever Indian gymnast to perform at the Olympic Games. She reached even greater heights when she qualified for the final of the women's vault at the recently-concluded Rio Games, competing with the likes of Simone Biles of the USA, who won four Golds and a Bronze in gymnastics. To top it, she finished a credible fourth, missing out on a Bronze medal by a whisker.

Even though Karmakar was apprehensive of returning home empty-handed from Rio, her performance at the Games was lauded and celebrated by the country. She received a hero's welcome for her courageous display of talent at the mega event, missing out on a Bronze medal by just 0.15 points.

The 23-year-old gymnast made the country proud and as a result, she was one of the three Indian athletes and a coach to get a BMW car. Karmakar was also conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on the National Sports Day on August 29.

Karmakar and her coach Bishweshwar Nandi, Dronachayra awardee, broke all barriers by their determination to succeed. Now, she is happy with her career she chose when she was only five.

I have been in this sport since I was five. At that time there was not much knowledge about other sports. The state that I come from didn't have any popular sport that I could have thought of joining. We didn't even have mobile phones that we could research which sports would be good for my future. Papa introduced me to gymnastics and I continued doing it. I started liking after a while," Karmakar told the Times of India.


Dipa's father also revealed why he wanted one of his two daughters to be a sportswoman.

"I have two daughters. My wife and I decided that we should put at least one child into sports. The elder one, who is now married, was not a sports enthusiast but Dipa was very energetic. She was restless and wouldn't settle down in the house even after school. Her height and figure were good for gymnastics. There was not much interest in other sports like table tennis and basketball, so I introduced her to gymnastics," he said.

She may have lost out on a medal, but Karmakar is quite determined to win one in four years time at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Photos: Stunning images of athletes airborne

Stunning images of athletes airborne

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