Remember the Olympians who made India proud by representing it at the Rio Olympics stage? These talented sportsmen and women certainly deserve to be in the limelight. Their hard work, perseverance and passion towards earning a name for their country is simply commendable. They also inspire the youth of India to chase their dreams and make things possible despite the hardships and failures faced during trials.
Here is a list of 7 underrated unsung heroes of the Olympics who need our attention and all the limelight:
Dipa Karmakar, the Golden Girl of Tripura is the first woman gymnast of India to qualify for the Olympics. Although not an easy task to qualify for the Olympics, she managed to turn the events into her favor. She mastered the death-defying vault referred to as ‘Produnova’ to secure her spot. This is a move, named after Yelena Sergeyevna Produnova, the famous Russian gymnast comprising of a front handspring and two front somersaults. This is also deemed as one of the most dangerous maneuvers in gymnastics (women), the Produnova poses a 7.0 difficulty score. Karmakar was fearless and determined to risk her life and limbs each time she attempted the move. Unfortunately, her efforts and dedication has gone unsung. Her spine chilling and immensely inspiring story certainly deserves more attention by the media and the government of India. Karmakar narrowly missed out on the prestigious bronze medal at Rio Olympics. The fearless fighter finished 4th in the finals and achieved a score of 15.066.
2 Sakshi Malik
This immensely talented freestyle wrestler has made India proud by displaying her mettle at various events. Malik created history by becoming the first Indian female wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics. She brought glory to the country by winning Bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Seeing Badhlu Ram, her grandfather, Malik was motivated to take up wrestling. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Malik won a silver medal, which was followed by a bronze medal at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships (Doha).
3 Vikas Gowda
This discus thrower was born in Mysore and brought up in Maryland (USA). This super talented sportsperson inspired sportsmen and women of India by winning a track-and-field gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. According to the latest sports news in Hindi, Gowda is one of the most consistent Indian athletes in the present age. His 4th Olympic appearance was at the Rio held in 2016. The hardworking athlete trains at least 5-6 days a week.
4 Lalita Babar
The Indian long-distance runner hails from Maharashtra. Babar started her career in athletics at a very young age. She started as a long distance runner. In the year 2005, she won her first gold medal after displaying her talent at the U-20 National Championships, Pune. She mainly competes in the 3000 meters steeplechase. Presently, she is an Indian national record holder and the ruling Asian Champion. Anglian Medal Hunt Company is sponsoring and supporting her efforts. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organized the India Sports Awards in 2015 where she was honored with the title ‘Sports Person of the Year. This event was co-organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India.
5 Srikanth Kidambi
The skilled and dedicated badminton player from the state of Andhra Pradesh trains at the Gopichand Badminton Academy of Hyderabad. After winning the China Open Super Series Premier in 2014, Kidambi became the first Indian to win a Super Series Premier Men’s title. The following year, he emerged as the first Indian male to win gold at the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold held in 2015. He defeated Viktor Axelsen in this game. Kidambi made India proud by winning two gold medals at the South Asian Games (2016) in men’s team and men’s singles. He beat Jørgensen (World No 5) at Rio Olympics and reached the quarterfinals.
6 P V Sindhu
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is a talented badminton player who got training trains at the famous Gopichand Badminton Academy of Hyderabad. She became the first ever player for Indian women’s singles to win a medal at the World Championships on 10 August 2013. Ramanna, her father is also a former volleyball player and an Arjuna Awardee. Her contribution to the sports was recognized by the government of India in 2015. That year, she was felicitated with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor of India. The following year, she brought laurels to India by winning the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold in the women’s singles title. At the Summer Olympics held in the year 2016, she won the silver medal. With this, she emerged as the first Indian shuttler to win a silver medal. She is also the youngest Indian to make a podium finish at the Olympics.
7 Vikas Krishan Yadav
Yadav hails from Bhiwani district in Haryana. This immensely talented Indian boxer joined the Bhiwani Boxing Club at the tender age of 10. Later on, he received professional training from the Army Sports Institute in Pune. Yadav won a gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games (Lightweight category). The glory was followed by a bronze in the Welterweight category at 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships. The Asian Games held in 2014 brought him fame with a bronze in the Middleweight category. The boxer also won the silver medal at the Asian Boxing Championships held in the year 2015 for the Middleweight category.