Aruna Budda Reddy: One for the History Books

Blog by: Raj Kishan..

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” And my friends, that unquenchable faith combined with unparalleled hard work has given a new name to the history books, to India, to the world, to the world of gymnastics; Aruna Budda Reddy.

Aruna Budda Reddy, born on December 22, 1995, a former black belt and a Karate trainer, has created history by clinching a historic bronze medal in vault at the Gymnastics World Cup 2018 held in Melbourne. Aruna is now the first and the only Indian to have won a medal in the World Cup. Dipa Karmakar, who finished fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics in women’s vault event, has won a bronze each in the Asian Championships and 2014 Commonwealth Games but not at the level of a World Cup.

Aruna, who hails from Hyderabad, averaged a score of 13.649 at the Hisense Arena to finish third. Tjasa Kysslef of Slovenia won the gold with a score of 13.800 while Emily Whitehead of Australia took the silver with 13.699.

Aruna’s father enrolled her in an academy in Hyderabad when she was just eight years old and that is how her relationship with sports began. It might have been different, had her father not nudged her towards the sport. Aruna didn’t liked gymnastics at first but his father encouraged her for the sport, he always told her, how good she was at gymnastics. In 2010 he died of cardiac arrest.

Aruna dedicates her medal win to her father, “I owe everything to him and if he’d been alive and seen me on the podium today, he’d have been so happy. He was there in my days of struggle, but couldn’t watch me win.” She told The Indian Express.

The Vault has previously been made famous by Dipa Karmakar, who is not participating this year owing to a knee injury. But she was quick to congratulate Aruna. She wrote on her Twitter account, “So proud of you Aruna!! Congratulations on your outstanding achievement!” On her relation with Dipa, Aruna says, “We have been training together since 2011. We are not rivals and can’t be. We are each other’s support system during training and competition time” Indian gymnastics has been synonyms to Dipa, but now people, we have Aruna as well!

Aruna has been part of Indian team since 2013. She had earlier taken part in the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Asian Games and 2017 Asian Championships. Her previous best finish had been sixth in the vault event at the 2017 Asian Championships. In all the other international events, she could not go beyond the qualification stage. This was Aruna’s first international medal. First of many more to come, we wish, we hope, we pray!

Aruna finished seventh in the final round of women’s floor event in Melbourne. Later this year she will participate in the 2018 Commonwealth games.

Aruna has become an inspiration to every young girl out there. Take note of her story, there will be obstacles but remember; greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. So, just like Aruna, leap forward and you will achieve what you desire. You go girl!