Gymnastics – Before Rio Olympics 2016, it was hardly a known entity in India. Then came Dipa Karmakar, who impressed everyone with her exceptional performance in the Olympics. People praised her. Wrote about her on social media. And in less than a month, Indian Gymnastics players went back to being hardly a thing in India.
What we don’t know is the fact that before and even after Dipa, there are few others, who have made India proud on an international level. In fact, India had its first Gymnastics participation at the Olympic Games way back in 1952. Then again at 1956 and 1964 before we decided to go on a vacation for 52 years.
Now there are a lot of reasons behind India’s poor record in Gymnastics – The unawareness about the Sport being the major one. But the careless attitude of the governing body and lack of funds for the game are also a few important reasons.
But despite all the obstructions, a handful of Indians have worked really hard to achieve success in Gymnastics. And it would be a shame if we don’t acknowledge and celebrate their success just because this particular game is not popular enough.
So without further ado, here are best Indian Gymnastic Players of all time:
First in the list is, of course the blue-eyed Indian superstar Dipa Karmakar. But before we get to her Rio 2016 story, let us see how and where she started.
Dipa first grabbed the headlines in 2014, when she won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in women’s individual vault. She became the first Indian female gymnast to win a medal in history.
But more than a medal, it was Dipa’s performance that surprised the world. She executed the most difficult vault, Produnova vault, also known as the vault of death with a score of 15.1 (D-7, Ex- 8.1). She became only the 5th gymnast to pull of the Produnova vault. In the 2015 Asian Championship, Dipa won yet another bronze in Vault, yet another first for India.
Dipa became the first Indian female to qualify for the Olympics after her score of 14.833 in the Test Events. The girl from Tripura gave everything in Rio but just missed out on a bronze medal finishing fourth overall.
Dipa has since been awarded by Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri by the Government of India. And if her willpower is anything to go by, she will definitely make up for missing out on an Olympic medal in the next year’s Tokyo Games.