Straight from the vault
Dipa Karmakar is back in news with a bronze medal at one of the biggest World Cups in Germany. Post knee injury, surgery, and rehab, this was a big medal for her in a thick field which has brought back the much-needed confidence.
For someone who grabbed the attention of the entire nation at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and made people Google what the difficult Produnova was all about, Dipa is now more excited about her book which is about to hit the stands.
Titled "Dipa Karmakar The Small Wonder," the 276 page book tells you all about the young gymnast's journey from Tripura to now. Her story has been captured in a crisp manner by authors Bishweshwar Nandi, and journalists Digivjay Singh Deo and Vimal Mohan. Nandi is also her longstanding coach.
Speaking about the book, to be launched later this month by Sachin Tendulkar, Dipa says she is thrilled. "I come from a small state and people need to know about my struggle. I am thankful to my family, my coach Nandi Sir, my state government and SAI for all the help. Without help from all the stakeholders and the love and attention from all my fans and fellow athletes, I would not be here," she told Mail Today on Tuesday.
Having spent almost a year without training and competition after her knee surgery, return to top-flight competition was not easy. "I am one of these who has always believed in working hard and the best wishes of millions have helped me. The medal I won recently has come at the right time. I know 2019 will be a very big year and I have to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I will do everything it takes to win a medal in Tokyo," said an emotional Dipa.
Coach Nandi, who is an integral part of Dipa's success says the journey to the top has not been easy. "We have faced criticism from many quarters. Dipa's success story is the result of a perfect understanding between Dipa, her family and me. The support system has been incredible and one cannot forget the efforts put in by her first coach as well," said Nandi.
Nandi writes in the book about how people called the Produnova the vault of death. Personally, though, he hates mention of the word "death."
"Qualifying events in 2019 for the Tokyo Olympics will be tough, very tough. I hope this book will motivate many more gymnasts in India to emulate Dipa. If she had been able to do it against all odds, more gymnasts can attempt. Only thing I must say, a kid has to start at the age of six and that's not easy. This being a technical sport, how a coach helps becomes vital," said Nandi.
The foreword to the book has been written by none other than Nadia Comaneci of Perfect Ten fame. "I was there in Rio for the 2016 Olympics and was very surprised to see Dipa attempt the Produnova. It is an extremely difficult and complex vault, yet she executed it with minimum fuss. As someone who has competed at the highest level, I must say that it requires a lot of guts and had I been given a choice, I would never have attempted such a dangerous vault. It is truly a reflection of the bravery and the dedication of this lovely gymnast that she was successful in executing it at a place no less than the Olympics," writes Nadia.