A sportsman who has made India proud together with her superb achievements, Mary Kom is a boxer—the solely Indian woman boxer who managed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics where she additionally won a Bronze Medal. A five-time world amateur boxing champion, she is astonishingly serene and philosophical concerning all her achievements. A testimony to women empowerment and an example of indomitable spirit, Mary showed how despite being the mother of three, handling her family and her growing age has not been able to keep her restrained clinching all the success and fame.
Named as Mangte Chungneijang at birth, she selected the name “Mary” as she entered the world of skilled sports as it was easier to pronounce. Born into a poor family she began helping her parents by working in the fields while still very young. As a schoolgirl, she used to play a variety of sports—hockey, football, and athletics—but astonishingly not boxing! When the Manipuri boxer Dingko Singh won a gold at the Asian Games in 1998, the girl was impressed to take up boxing. Still taking a sports thought-about “masculine” by social standards was no straightforward task for the young tribal girl But Mary was not someone to be discouraged and traveled to Imphal to train in athletics. Today her success is for all to see! Of course, there is more to Mary Kom than just professional success—she also teaches boxing to underprivileged youngsters for free.
Childhood & Early Life
She was born in Kangathei, Manipur, India Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom who were poor farm laborers. She was named Mangte Chungneijang at birth, however, she would use the name Mary in her professional career for ease of pronunciation. She was the eldest of four siblings and had to work hard from a young age to fend for her family. She not only went to school to study but also took care of her younger siblings and worked in the fields with her parents to help them.
She first went to Loktak Christian Model High School where she studied up to VI standard before moving on to St. Xavier Catholic School. However, she quit studies before finishing schooling. In 1998, boxer Dingko Singh won a Gold at the Asian Games and made his native land proud. This incident impressed her to require up boxing. However, the terrible task of usurping this sport became a challenge for her as her parents felt boxing was too masculine for a young girl.
Undaunted by the opposition, Mary Kom traveled to Imphal and requested the coach, M. Narjit Singh at Manipur State Boxing to train her. She was passionate about the sport and was a fast learner; she would often practice till late in the night even when the others had left.
Her career first started when she won in 2000 when she won the Best Boxer Award at the First State Level invitation at the women’s boxing championship in Manipur. After that, she proceeded to win the gold within the Seventh East India Women’s Boxing Championship held in West Bengal.
A prolific sportswoman who incontestable a relentless passion for the sport, she won a total of 5 National Championships from 2000 to 2005. Between 2001 and 2006, she won the AIBA world boxing championship thrice in 2002, 2005 and 2006, and came second in 2001.
In 2008, she participated at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in India where she won a silver medal. The same year she boxed at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in China where she earned the Gold medal—her fourth successive gold medal at the championship.
The coming years were additionally very productive for the gritty young lady. She went to Vietnam from where she returned with a gold medal at the 2009 Asian Indoor Games. In Kazakhstan Mary won the gold medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in 2010. Then she proceeded to Barbados to register a career milestone—her fifth consecutive gold at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship.
A petite woman, she competed in the 51 kg category in the 2010 Asian Games and won a bronze medal. Again at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in Mongolia in 2012 she participated in the same weight category and won the gold. In 2012, women’s boxing featured as an Olympic sport in the Summer Olympics in London for the first time. Mary did succeed in securing a place at the events and won a bronze medal. In 2014 Asian Games, held in Incheon, South Korea, she won a Gold Medal in Flyweight category.
Awards & Achievements
She is best known for being a five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion, an exploit that positively makes her one amongst the most effective ever women boxers world has ever produced. Mary Kom was decorated with the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor in 2010 for her contributions to sports. She was honored with the Padma Bhushan—the third highest civilian award in India—in 2013 for her howling achievements within the field of sports. She won a Gold Medal in Flyweight category in 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
Personal Life And Legacy
She met K Onler Kom in 2001 once she was at New Delhi on her way to National Games in Punjab. The young man was extremely affected by Mary’s grit and ambitions. The couple dated for four years before tying the knot in 2005. They have been blessed with three sons. Her much-awaited autobiography, ‘Unbreakable’ that chronicles all her life’s struggles and the how she rose above them, was released by Harper Collins in 2013. The famous Indian actor Priyanka Chopra plays this sportswoman in a Bollywood movie based on her life.
Here are some few tweets:
Priyanka Chopra: "Wow! Only you could do it!! What an achievement... Congratulations Mary Kom... It's a proud moment for the nation and you are and always will be my inspiration. Here's too magnificent Mary."
Amitabh Bachchan: "Mary Kom, what a huge honour you bring to the country... Six times gold medalist world championship! CONGRATULATIONS! I ever value the boxing gloves that you gifted me! They are my gold medals."
Anushka Sharma: "Congratulations Champ! So proud to see you creating history, you are a wonder woman."