Tripuri Gymnast Dipa Karmakar Turns Barbie!

Arjuna Award winner Tripuri gymnast Dipa Karmakar
Arjuna Award winner Tripuri gymnast Dipa Karmakar. Photo courtesy : Twitter

Agartala, March 9, 2019

The Tripuri gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who led India in numerous international event and also clinched titles at many national championships, is among the 20 female icons chosen by Mattel for a special edition Barbie Dolls to celebrate the 60th birthday of the iconic character. Dipa finds her place as a Role Model for Mattel among other sportswomen of the world including Naomi Osaka, Chloe Kim, Kristina Vogel, Ibtihaj Muhammad and others. Women from all over the world across many walks of life have been chosen.

The official statement about Dipa reads as:

Dipa started practicing gymnastics at the age of 6. When she began gymnastics, Dipa had flat feet, an undesirable physical trait in a gymnast as it affects their performance. Through extensive training, she was able to develop an arch in her foot. In 2008, she won the Junior Nationals in Jalpaiguri. Since then, Dipa has won 77 medals, including 67 gold, in state, national, and international championships. She first gained attention when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games. She continued her good form at the 2014 Asian Games, where she finished fourth in the vault final. She became the first Indian gymnast to qualify for a final stage at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where she secured a fifth-place finish in the vault final.

At the Rio 2016 Games, Dipa created history by becoming India’s first female gymnast to qualify for the final vault event. She missed out on bronze by a narrow margin, finishing fourth in the event. Dipa is one of only five women who has successfully landed the Produnova or handspring double front, the most difficult vault currently performed in women’s gymnastics. For her remarkable achievements, Dipa was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2015 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India, in 2016. In 2017, she was honoured with the Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India. She has defied all odds and has inspired a generation of young girls to take up the sport of gymnastics.

Dipa taking to her official Twitter handle stated as: “Barbie has always shown girls that they can be anything!! On the occasion of her 60th anniversary, I am honoured to be selected as a Barbie Role Model to help inspire the next generation of girls!”

The website also mentioned that this was a part of their ongoing effort to bring to attention stories of strong women around the world.