Can India produce another Dipa Karmakar?

6 minutes

Dipa Karmakar has scripted Indian sporting history as the first Indian to qualify for a Gymnastics finals at the Olympics at Rio 2016.Though it was unfortunate to have missed a bronze medal by mere 0.156 points, but the show she put up was truly spectacular.  This monumental moment for Indian athletics had many people and factors involved in making this happen. However, know that Dipa Karmakar is 22 years old, which is relatively older for the sport, and she herself foresees about 5-6 years of top level gymnastics in her. Before long, the search for the next Dipa Karmakar will begin.

Dipa Karmarkar Olympics

How can someone, who is beginning their journey as a gymnast, replicate and outdo Dipa Karmakar’s feats? Any course of action an individual decides to take is determined by some external and internal factors.

To answer this question, we must take a look at the external and internal factors led to the creation of this world beater.

External Factors

  1. The discovery – Dipa was introduced to the sport at the tender age of 6, by her father, who was a coach with the sports authority of India. It’s almost like the sport chose her, as Dipa was admittedly reluctant about the sport at first and it wasn’t until her success at the junior gymnastics tournament that she started to really get motivated towards the sport.

  2. The family – At an age where many Indian parents are more worried about finding a husband for their girl, Dipa’s parents are wholeheartedly supporting her endeavor to win an Olympic gold and be the best gymnast that India has ever produced. Her success could not have been possible without this.

  3. The coach – Once the talent was discovered, Dipa found an able nurturer in her coach,  Bisbeshwar Nandi. Stories of Dipa’s Flat Footedness is doing the rounds, only because it is so important for her to have had a coach who would put in the extra hours to make her the best gymnast that she can be.

  4. A great peer group – After the junior Olympics, Dipa’s second bout of inspiration came from when she was a part of the 2010 gymnastics contingent to the commonwealth games. There she saw Ashish Kumar create history by being the first Indian Gymnast to win a medal at the commonwealth games. This is where she told herself – “I will win it for India in Glasgow four years down the line,”.

  5. Infrastructural support – Prior to the Asian games in Hiroshima, Dipa had to practice without any equipment for as long as 8 months. But her final two months, the federation arranged a camp with good equipment for her to practice with. She is also supported by the GoSports foundation in her attempt to earn India’s first gymnastics medal at the Olympics

dipa karmakar pradunova

Internal Factors

  1. Raw talent – Despite her flatfoot, Dipa had a natural talent to gymnastics. Since 2007, Dipa has won 77 medals, 67 of which are gold. Plus, at a height of 4’11’’, she has the perfect gymnasts’ stature, which has powered her meteoric rise in the sport.

  2. Discipline – It takes a lot of grit and determination to be disciplined to the level which Dipa follows. Her regime involves two-three hour workout sessions, with a strict, protein rich diet with little or no carbohydrates and sugars. This has been her regime for many years.

  3. A drive to prove oneself – From going to a small gym in Agartala, which used to get flooded during the monsoon, to performing the dangerous Produnova Vault, a drive to prove herself has always been there. In fact, when asked about why she does the Produnova, she says, “I’ve seen the boys do it. If they can do it, so can I.” She also aspires to give back to the small state of Tripura, as being the home to India’s best Gymnast.

  4. Passion for the sport – Depending on what report you read, Dipa started her training when she was 6 years old. There is no way that you can dedicate the better part of your life to one thing, without being fiercely passionate about it. Dipa’s love for gymnastics is unquestionable.

  5. Humility – This is perhaps Dipa’s biggest strength. In many interviews, she has been quoted saying that she will do anything that the coach asks her to do. This has been most recently been displayed in reports of her house arrest imposed by her coach prior to the finals on 14th August. Firstly, that kind of trust on another person is unheard of, across any relationship. And secondly, it is great humility on her part to submit herself to the coach’s instructions. Furthermore, traits of her humility are seen in her interviews, where she is always respectful of her peers and people who finished ahead of her.

dipa karmakar olympics vault

While the external factors can be replicated, it is the internal factors that have set her apart from any Gymnast that has come from the country. Surely, there will be more and maybe even better gymnasts to come from India, but Dipa Karmakar will forever be remembered as the one who paved the way for the rest of them.

Dipa was lucky to have external support from her coach and family. Unfortunately, many people aren’t that lucky. If you’re going through a tough time and if you feel like the odds are stacked up against you, Talk to our experts.

Earlier Posted by YourDOST on Sportskeeda

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