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  • Dipa Karmakar makes Gymnastics History for India

    Dipa Karmakar, India’s first female Olympic gymnast may have failed to win a medal, but won the hearts of a nation on Indian Independence Day.

    Dipa Karmakar

    "But at the end, this is a sport, winning and losing is a part of it."

    The Rio 2016 Olympics gave India a new star in the world of gymnastics, Dipa Karmakar.

    Karmakar became India’s first female Olympic Gymnast to reach the finals and the first Indian gymnast to do so in 52 years.

    The 23 year old displayed an amazing performance in the eight-woman vault final. Unfortunately, she just missed the medal by finishing fourth in the event.

    Dipa finished just 0.150 points away from getting her hands on the bronze medal.

    Maria Paseka of Russia bagged the silver medal and Simone Biles of USA won the gold. Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland took home the bronze medal.

    While Dipa Karmakar may have just narrowly missed out on the medal, she won the Olympics by winning hearts of the India and made history for the country.

    The event happened at the stroke of midnight as Indians were preparing the start of the celebration for the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence Day.

    Dipa, who is from the northern east state of Tripura won a bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and has since been training for Rio 2016.

    She was trending on social media and Google even before the actual gymnastics final event.

    She tweeted saying “Never in my wildest dreams I thought my whole country would support me in my defeat.”

    Dipa Karmakar posted a video on her Twitter account to thank everyone for their support:

    The video highlights her thanks to her coach, parents, her team and Gymnastics Federation and Sports Authority of India.

    Being the first gymnast for India to have made it this far is a great triumph for gymnastics in India.

    In an interview after the final, Dipa said:

    “I am happy with my performance but I am very disappointed that I missed out on a medal.

    “But at the end, this is a sport, winning and losing is a part of it.

    “This was my first Olympics, but I don’t need to be disappointed. I will give it my best in Tokyo 2020.

    “I never expected a medal from this Olympics, but to come fourth is very credible. It was very close to medal. After four years my target would be gold.”

    Dipa Karmakar has been since been shown plenty of support on social media.

    Former Olympians, movie stars, politicians and cricketers among many others applauded the young gymnast. 

    Celebrities including the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan showed their support on Twitter, who called Dipa ‘the pride of India.’

    Cricketer and former India opener Virender Sehwag also mentioned the young gymnast on Twitter as well as actors Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan and director Shekhar Kapoor.

    Dipa Karmakar has reminded India that you don’t need to be a winner, but that your efforts deserve to be applauded and recognised to do better next time.

    Gayatri, a Journalism and Media graduate is a foodie with an interest in books, music and films. She is a travel bug, enjoys learning about new cultures and lives by the motto “Be blissful, gentle and fearless.”

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