YEAR ENDER 2023: Unstoppable Goans who made it to the top

As we close the chapter on 2023, let's celebrate the achievements of Goans who raised Goa's international standing
Goans who raised Goa's international standing.
Goans who raised Goa's international standing. Photo: Gomantak Times

As we approach the end of 2023, it's time to pause and reflect on the remarkable journey Goans undertook this year, leaving an indelible mark on the international stage.

From sports arenas to the tech landscape and the world of entertainment, Goa's collective achievements have not only made this year memorable but have also propelled the state to greater global recognition.

Goans who raised Goa's international standing.
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In the spotlight of 2023, Goa's sports fraternity stood tall, showcasing a series of achievements that resonated far beyond our borders. Simultaneously, other Goans ventured into new horizons — some gaining global recognition in music, others breaking records and unveiling their extraordinary skills.

From the youngest mountaineer to resilient women breaking stereotypes and taking on challenges, each individual has left behind his or her mark. These skillful achievers have not merely competed but have set standards that are challenging to surpass.

Let’s take a look at these Goan high-achievers who have truly owned 2023.


Among the youngest Goan achievers stands Gunjan Prabhu Narvekar, a remarkable mountaineer who conquered three peaks above 6000 metres in the Markha Valley in Ladakh within an impressive 62.5 hours. Her remarkable feat, which also included conquering base camp of Mount Everest in winter, has carved a new chapter in Goa's sporting legacy.

From childhood, Narvekar had a profound love for the mountains, and she says, “All these victories are dedicated to my country – India. I always aspire to make it proud.”

She talks about her disciplined routine, which involves rigorous core strengthening, cardio workouts, and physical and mental training with heavy gear. Narvekar now looks ahead to the bigger picture, aiming to summit peaks over 7000 meters, particularly focusing on the Mt Annapurna ranges, before eventually tackling the formidable Mt Everest.

No mountain is too high to climb for Gunjan Prabhu Narvekar.
No mountain is too high to climb for Gunjan Prabhu Narvekar.


A moment of national pride occurred when Danuska Da Gama from Saligao, North Goa, was announced as the first Indian Female International Technical Official (ITO) of the International Boxing Association.

For Gama, the key to success is passion, patience, and perseverance.

She emphasises that for an athlete or anyone to achieve something significant, the entire system needs to work. “There needs to be well-formulated State Sports policies, frequent incentives, and talent nurturing opportunities,” Gama adds.

She urges Goans to aim beyond state-level victories and set their sights on the global arena. According to her, the true measure of success lies in making a mark on the international stage.

Look beyond state-level victories, says Danuska Da Gama.
Look beyond state-level victories, says Danuska Da Gama.


In February 2023, Katya Coelho made history as the first Indian female iQFoiler to qualify for the Asian Games. Although she couldn't participate due to unforeseen circumstances, Coelho's achievements throughout the year, including winning gold at the national games and securing multiple national medals, have set a high standard.

Describing her journey in 2023, Coelho says, “This year has marked a period of personal growth. Inspired by these accomplishments, I am determined to channel the same spirit into the New Year.”

She aims to leverage her success to promote responsible tourism and showcase the coastal beauty of Goa in the coming year.

Riding the high wave, Katya Coelho .
Riding the high wave, Katya Coelho .


One of Goa’s acclaimed directors, Miransha Naik, took his film, Vaat, to the New York Film Festival, where it premiered. Vaat translates to 'path'.

Naik is renowned for one of the most critically acclaimed films, Juze, which focused on social injustice and exploitation faced by migrant labourers in Goa."

Talented director, Miransha Naik, whose film Vaat was selected for the New York Film Festival.
Talented director, Miransha Naik, whose film Vaat was selected for the New York Film Festival.


Among the rising stars in the music realm is Goa’s Nathan Joseph Mendes, widely known as Tsumyoki. The young rapper rose to fame when he clinched the prestigious MTV EMA Best Local Act (India) Award at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2023, solidifying his position as a noteworthy talent of the Indian music scene.

Tsumyoki creating musical waves.
Tsumyoki creating musical waves.


As December marked the close of 2023, Vaibhav Rajamani achieved a remarkable feat by breaking the world record for cycling an impressive 151.3 km in 7 hours and 18 minutes—all without touching the handlebars.

A cycling enthusiast from childhood, Rajamani's love for exploring Goa on his bicycle transformed into a passion for setting records. At the age of 16, sparked by curiosity during an evening internet browse, he meticulously noted down various records and set his sights on achieving them. This determination eventually propelled him into the pages of the Guinness World Records.

In his pursuit to inspire others, Rajamani shares one of his favorite quotes: “Extraordinary results don't come from doing extraordinary things; they come from doing ordinary things for an extraordinary amount of time.”

His achievement not only stands as a personal triumph but also serves as a testament to the power of dedication and consistency.

Vaibhav Rajamani wants to do ordinary things for an extraordinary amount of time.
Vaibhav Rajamani wants to do ordinary things for an extraordinary amount of time.


Whether it's the thrill of victory on the field, ground-breaking advancements in technology, or captivating performances in entertainment, Goans have once again proven their ability to leave a lasting impact on the global stage.

As we turn the page on this year, let these remarkable achievements stand as a testament to Goa's potential for greatness. May they inspire and propel Goa to continue scaling new heights, making headlines on the world map, and leaving an enduring legacy for years to come.

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