For a country which is excessively obsessed by cricket, other sporting disciplines have always taken a back seat. One such sport which has always been in the dark is gymnastics. 

But over the last couple of years now, gymnastics is slowly gaining recognition in India, thanks to the exploits of 22-year old Dipa Karmakar. The youngster recently became the first female Indian athlete in history to qualify for the gymnastics event of the Olympics. 

Karmakar shot to fame in 2014 when she clinched a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, thus becoming the first gymnast from India to win a medal at the Games. Her glorious form continued a year later when she became the first ever Indian gymnast to qualify for the final of the World Championships and subsequently finished fifth.

In all, since starting her professional gymnastics career way back in 2007, Karmakar has managed to win 77 medals including 67 gold in various state, national and international events. However, it wasn’t always easy pickings for the Tripura-based athlete. She had limited resources while practicing back home and in her own words, had to pile up mats to make a good landing platform. But that hasn’t deterred Karmakar from achieving glory for the country. 

Despite the many odds she faced over the course of her career, the 5 feet athlete has managed to stand tall among her competitors and is still hungry for more success. With her Olympic berth confirmed, she will have only one thing in mind in the next few months : To win an Olympic medal.

  But irrespective of the outcome of the Olympics, Dipa is a striking example of determination and discipline, and she already stands out as a role model for aspiring gymnasts, even at the ripe age of 22. Her story in a way symbolises the typical struggles of the modern Indian athlete who knows that success is hard to achieve, yet continues to battle it out among the most elite to earn glory at the highest possible level.