The champion gymnast and his eye scare

This confident young man in the picture is Rakesh Kumar Patra, India's champion gymnast, who had bagged four gold medals, including three individual golds at the recent National Games in Thiruvananthapuram.

Two months ago, when he met Dr Soumyava Basu at LVPEI's Bhubaneswar campus, he was shocked to learn that he had total retinal detachment in the left eye that needed urgent surgery. Rakesh, who had represented India in several international meets including the Commonwealth and Asian Games, had to begin coaching for the National Games at the earliest. But beating the odds comes naturally to Rakesh, who hails from a humble background in coastal Odisha. He underwent retinal reattachment surgery the very next day, and exactly one month later, he was back in the gymnastics arena, balancing himself on parallel bars and somersaulting on the Roman rings. Rakesh is currently busy preparing for the qualification meet to the Rio Olympics, and looks forward to a great sporting career.

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