Teri Wilson
April 27, 2016 8:02 am
Carl Court/ Getty Images

Allow us to introduce you to Dipa Karmakar, an amazingly talented gymnast from Tripura, India. You might want to remember her name: Dipa is sure to be the talk of the 2016 Olympic Games this summer in Rio de Janeiro, because she is the first female Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. Ever.

The only gymnasts who have ever represented India at the Olympics have been male, and the latest was over half a century ago. So Dipa’s historic achievement is a huge deal for her home country, as well as an inspiration for women and athletes all over the world.

Hindustan Times/ Getty Images

In a recent video for the BBC, she explained when she started training, the gym in her hometown didn’t even have a vaulting table — they had to pile mats on the floor. For her first big competition, she had to borrow a costume. The 22-year-old advised, “To achieve something in your life, you have to take risks.”

And she is definitely not afraid to take risks. She secured her spot at the Olympics by performing the most difficult vault in her sport. Only five women in the world have ever landed the “Produnova” (DNA India explains it is sometimes called the vault of death because it’s super dangerous), and Dipa is one of them. She successfully landed it for the first time in competition at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and became an instant celebrity in India. Just last week, she landed it again at the Olympic qualification event for the Rio de Janeiro test event. It went a little something like this…

We’re in awe, Dipa Karmakar! Best of luck preparing for the Olympics. We can’t wait to cheer you on in Rio!

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