Quazi Syque Caesar
Gold Medal-winning Gymnast

For a long time Bangladesh barely make an impact in the field of gymnastics. Quazi Syque Caesar, a US-born Bangladeshi, has gone about changing that and has built a good name for his country as a sparkling gymnast in a foreign land. Currently a Senior at the University of Michigan, this 22 year old has bagged a great number of achievements already.

With his knack for gymnastics and athletic characteristics, it was evident that Syque would enter the world of gymnastics. His father used to be a footballer in Bangladesh, and helped him train for two years before he entered university. Syque planned to go to Florida International but the school did not have a men's gymnastics team, a high bar or a set of rings. He faced a fork in the road and it was fortuitous that a Florida coach referred him to a Michigan coach; in no time, Syque flew to Michigan, got himself into the university men's gymnastics team and within a span of three years, got elected as the co-captain of the team. With the help and support of his coach and teammates, Syque's star shone bright in a very short time. Syque globally highlighted his nationality by clinching titles and taking Michigan University to abundant victories in gymnastics.

He might not have had much connection to his roots but he highlighted them in bright lights. At the start of this year, he took Bangladesh to a new level, earning the first gold medal in Bangladesh's international history at the 4th Central South Asian Artistic Gymnastic Championships. He won the Parallel Bars, bagged the silver in the Vault discipline and earned bronze in the Floor Exercise and finished as a bronze medallist in the overall competition.

Such feats and bounties home and abroad make Bangladesh proud and give Caesar the contentment to have given his country a few things back.

“It is pleasing to win a gold medal on home soil. Now I want to represent Bangladesh in the World Gymnastics Championship and want to win a medal for Bangladesh outside the country,” the youngster told The Daily Star.

by Saveem Shama

Babita Khatun

Life might not have come with a silver spoon for the talented swimmer Babita Khatun, but she worked hard to let her life shine with gold, winning a colossal number of gold medals from a very early age. Her family and hometown Kushtia watched with hopeful eyes as this youngster grew up to become a talented woman establishing herself as a renowned swimmer. Her records show her iconic role in the National Age Group (Under-20) Swimming Championship, winning 11 gold medals when she was in class VIII, and leading her team Ansar to the championship; and not to forget her 11 silver and two bronze medals in the edition before. Last year, she won nine gold medals in the 27th National Age group Swimming Championship 2011. Babita's drive to succeed is obvious when one considers that she sees winning four or five gold medals in a single tournament a low tally -- perhaps not surprising considering the 11 gold medals she won in both 2007 and 2009.

This 20-year old has lived through a lot of hardship to come this far. Being the eldest daughter in her family of four siblings and parents, Babita is the only bread earner and spends all her earnings on running the family as it is a challenge for her father, who is a farmer, to bear the expenses alone.

Babita has always aspired to represent Bangladesh at the international level with her spirited urge of making her country proud. She believes the medals she achieves are not for herself but for her home Kushtia and of course the team she belongs to, and places her heart in breaking every possible record set in front.

by Saveem Shama

Salma Khatun
National Women's Cricketer

Bangladesh Women's Cricket Team Captain Salma Khatun already has shown why she might arguably the best female cricketer of Bangladesh. Her all-round skills only complement her captaincy. If there were a few qualities that stood out about Salma then those would be her straightforward and simple approach to the game and also her perseverance. Her innings of 73 against the Irish in a must win match and her inspired five wicket haul against the Japanese after defeat in the first match against a solid Pakistan team speak for themselves about how she has led from the front. Without those priceless contributions the Bangladesh Women's team probably would not have achieved ODI and T20 statuses.

Although she remains humble, there is no denying that she has taken a brave career step in choosing to become a female cricketer in Bangladesh, where the sport is still in its infancy and is not the most lucrative career choice either. “Now that we have ODI status I think more girls will start playing and the sport will grow fast, especially with all the public support,” Salma believes.

Salma may just be 21 and most likely has many good years of cricket left in her, but she is already looked up as an icon of sorts by girls who are interested in picking up the sport. “Often I get calls from parents who want their girls want to play cricket and ask for advice. I try and help them out in whichever way I can,” she added. Salma Khatun will always remain one of the pillars with which Women's Cricket in Bangladesh has been built and her name will be entrenched in history for being the first ever Bangladesh Women's Cricket Team Captain.

by Shahanoor Rabbani