Few would trade in a brand new BMW for a mid-sized sedan. But Dipa Karmakar is relieved at her new Hyundai Elantra she bought from the Rs 25 lakh she got after returning a BMW received as a token of appreciation for her exploits at the Rio Olympics.
Karmakar, who shot to fame after becoming the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympic finals, was forced to return the luxury car as the roads in her hometown of Agartala were narrow and potholed. Besides, the town didn’t have a service center for her car.
“Considering her situation, Dipa was given cash amounting to Rs. 25 lakh. Her family bought a car recently, and it was a brand that has a service center in Agartala,” Karmakar’s coach Bisweswar Nandi said.
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, also BMW’s brand ambassador, had handed over the keys to Karmakar and two other Rio medal winners – shuttler PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik. Sindhu’s coach – P Gopichand was also given a BMW car.
Karmakar narrowly missed a bronze medal at the Olympics but won accolades for being one of the few gymnasts in the world who perform the Produnova, popularly termed as the ‘vault of death’.