A Dreamer, A Go-Getter and more than that India’s First Female Gymnast to reach the Olympic Games, Dipa Karmakar, has changed the look of the game ever since she won the bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She has been unstoppable since then winning another bronze at the Asian Gymnastics Championship in 2015 and receiving the highly regarded Padma Shri in 2017. Dipa is all set to rule the Asian Games this August, but before that let’s take a look at what this 24 years old gymnast has to say about her dreams, goals and paving way for the younger generation, in an intriguing interview with Women Fitness India.
Ms. Namita Nayyar:
You are the first Indian female gymnast to compete at the Olympics Games and the first Indian gymnast to do so in 52 years. Share with us your journey in the world of sports. How did it all start? Girls have to overcome a number of obstacles both on personal & sports level until they achieve recognition, do share some moments of struggle to serve as an inspiration for others?
Ms. Dipa Karmakar:
The journey of a woman coming from a small town and playing a sport that no one knows about is always a hard one. It all started at the age of five. At that age, I did not have goals or dreams to become a gymnast, I think I was too young to decide that. In 2007, Nandi sir saw the potential in me and that’s when we decided that I should give gymnastics a shot. In 2008, I won my first junior Nationals in Jalpaiguri and the rest is history.
As a woman, the challenge is much tougher owing to various misconceptions prevalent in society and this tends to be very personal and will differ from family to family. From a sporting point of view, more and more women are taking up sports and wanting to compete at a good level but there exists a dearth of women coaches, and girls also have issues when it comes to accessing good infrastructure i.e. a situation where a girl has to travel long distances to get to the training facility, but this can be risky for her to travel alone. But here, I would also like to add that women are as motivated, if not more than the men and we deserve our chances and the support. If recent performances at major sporting events are to go by, women are doing better than men. My hope is that this is proof of what sportswomen are capable of provided they get the right backing.
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