On Sunday, Dipa Karmakar became the first female Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympic games. The 22-year old, who is one of only five gymnasts to have successfully executed the “Produnova vault,” will compete in artistic gymnastics at this year’s Rio Olympics. Her qualification also marks the first time in 52 years that India will be able to send a gymnast to the Olympic Games. Karmakar came from a humble background in Tripura, Dipa, and told the BBC in a video interview that she was forced to borrow her first, ill-fitting gym costume and competed without shoes in her first competition.
News of her qualification drew excited responses across Indian social media, where the news of her remarkable achievement went viral. Indian Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal joined in the praise, tweeting: “Many congratulations for taking Indian gymnastics to a new high. Dipa Karmakar, we are so proud of you.”
Finally our own Nadia Comaneci. Dipa Karmakar u r the pride of our Nation.Ur achievements inspire us.Thanks lil one. pic.twitter.com/WHESrF5Bnb
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 19, 2016
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) April 18, 2016
After the historic qualification, Dipa Karmakar won gold in vaults final at the test event of Rio. So, proud of u. pic.twitter.com/RAGZoK2RsT
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) April 19, 2016
Watch Dipa Karmakar explain how she mastered the world’s most difficult gymnastic vault
Read the full story at BBC.