Each country seems to have a national hero when the Olympics rolls around, and for India, Dipa Karmakar is the one to watch this year in Rio de Janeiro.
According to NBC, Karmakar has “become the first female gymnast from India to make the Olympics,” posting an all-around score of 52.968 in April during the final Olympic qualifying event.
After the first qualifying events of the Games in Rio, the Times of India reports that the 22-year-old athlete qualified for the individual vault finals in her Olympic debut, placing eighth in the qualifying round.
NBC says Karmakar is a “vault specialist,” coming in fifth in the vault finals at the 2015 world championships. But in the Indian national championships, NBC reports that Karmakar ” the all-around and all four apparatus titles … in 2011, 2013 and 2015.”
History is rarely made by doing something safe. And Dipa Karmakar knows this for a fact — that’s because she has made history for pulling off one of the most dangerous stunts there is.
According to Refinery29, the 22-year-old gymnast from India is one of five women in the world to have safely landed the dangerous Produnova vault, which consists of a front handspring and two front somersaults and is nicknamed “the vault of death.” But not only is Karmakar a part of this elite group, she is also standing in a league of her own.
This week, Karmakar sealed her place in history as the first Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics, BBC reported. She is also “the first Indian gymnast of any gender to qualify for the Olympics in 52 years,” says Refinery29.
Winning a bronze medal in 2014 at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Karmakar said this victory “changed her life because it put her on the international stage,” according to Refinery29. Her talents and medal win have garnered the attention of those in her hometown of Tripura, leading the gymnast to tell BBC in a video that, “People treat me like a Bollywood star.”
And at long last, Karmakar is getting the attention her talents so deserve.
To learn more about the gymnast and watch BBC‘s video, click here.