Among the famous names like Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian sensation who wowed the world at the 1976 Olympic Games. Or Mary Lou Retton, the tiny American who lit up the 1984 edition. There’s Mohini Bhardwaj, she of a Russian mother and an Indian father, who helped her US team win a silver at the 2004 Games. Along with theses names, the name Dipa Karmakar has been edged in the history books, after her historical performance at the Commonwealth games.
Early life and career
Karmakar is from Agartala, in the state of Tripura in Northeast India. She started practising gymnastics when she was 6 years old and has been coached by Bisweshwar Nandi since.
Karmakar had flat feet when she first enrolled in gymnastics classes. “I still remember Dipa coming to me as a flat-footed kid, which is not good for a gymnast. It affects the spring in her jump,” her coach told Firstpost. “That was the hardest part to fix for Dipa. We had to work very, very hard when she was a little kid to get the curve in her feet.”
In 2007, she won the Junior Nationals in Jalpaiguri. Since 2007, Karmakar has won 77 medals, including 67 gold, in state, national and international championships. She was part of the Indian gymnastics contingent at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where Ashish Kumar won India’s first-ever Commonwealth Games gymnastics medal. “That’s when I told myself I will win it for India in Glasgow four years down the line,” Karmakar said.