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Dipa has motivated young athletes immensely, says Shannon Miller

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Pins her hopes on Simone Biles at the Tokyo Games

In her long and illustrious career, Shannon Miller has won seven Olympic medals. On personal front, the 42-year-old gymnast has survived ovarian cancer and has come back stronger to inspire many.

And on Thursday, Shannon —who is the brand ambassador of the 17th Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 — admitted that Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has motivated young athletes immensely.

In the 2016 Olympics, Dipa won hearts after finishing fourth in the vault finals. “What Dipa has done is that she has really shown the other athletes in India and the world that they are on a stage and that opens up the younger generation athletes all over India to know that it is possible (to succeed) with hard work and passion,” Shannon said.

“(She showed) you can go to the height of your career even in Olympic Games. It’s a great way to inspire the youth of India.”

During the Rio Olympics, Dipa stunned the world with her Produnova — which is considered a death-defying vault. While many gymnasts prefer not trying out the high-risk stance, Shannon feels that it’s up to the individual to take a call.

“It depends on what skills you are taking about. It’s important in any sport to take as much precaution as she can to safe as possible. Safety has to come first,” she said.

With the Tokyo Games a few months away, Shannon is pinning her hopes on Simone Biles — who dominated the Rio Games four years ago.

“All eyes are on Simone at this moment. I am just excited to watch great gymnastics. Simone is 22, she has done an amazing job, she is so much fun to watch her. But you also have so many athletes out there, representing their countries,” she said.

Shannon’s tally of five medals — two silvers, three bronzes — at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics were the most won by a US athlete across sport at the Summer Games, and she feels that stricter routines have helped Biles come a long way.

“She has such an incredible difficulty in her routine. They start a higher level than everyone else. So not only does she start from a more difficulty in a higher score and she is able to perform with them at such consistent rates that it bodes well for her and a lot of medals (come her way),” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 10:41:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/dipa-has-motivated-young-athletes-immensely-says-shannon-miller/article30577963.ece

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