You think of boxing, you think of Mary Kom! You think of women empowerment, you think of Mary Kom! The Manipur girl has punched through the barriers and come a long way. Besides bringing the oft-neglected North-East into spotlight, she has put India on the world map of boxing. Her resounding success is a hard blow to all those who perceive women to be weak and fragile.
On her 34th birthday today, let us talk about some important events of her life.
Born and brought up in Kangathei, Manipur, Mary Kom is the eldest among four siblings.
She had been passionate about sports since childhood. Her love for boxing was met with a lot of opposition from her conservative parents who were apprehensive of seeing their girl enter a “male-dominated” field. But her inclination towards the sport grew manifold after watching Dhingko Singh compete and succeed in several major events and started to train at the Khuman Lampak in Imphal. Her mentor M. Narjit Singh ensured that her spirit to win boxing championships stays alive. Since then, she has been unstoppable.
Success came Mary Kom’s way for the first time in 2000 when she was given the Best Boxer Award at the First State Level Invitation at the women’s boxing championships in Manipur. After that, she also bagged the 7th East India Women’s Boxing Championships in West Bengal.
In 2001, she lost in the final and had to settle for a silver medal. In 2002, she won her first gold at the AIBA World Championships. She continued to dominate women’s boxing till 2006 after which she took a 2-year sabbatical due to the birth of her twins. She returned with a bang in 2008 by winning her 4th successive World Championship.
In the 2012 Olympics, Mary bagged a bronze medal. This was the first time when women’s boxing was being featured in the Olympics. At the 2016 South Asian Games, Mary Kom clinched the Gold in the 51kg category.
Mary Kom is married to K Onler Kom. Mary considers him to be her lucky charm who had no qualms in supporting her relentlessly in all her endeavours. The couple is blessed with three beautiful sons.
Mary Kom’s autobiography, “Unbreakable”, was released in 2015 . The book chronicles her journey and talks about the ups and downs she endured to become a successful boxer.
This sporting icon’s journey was showcased in the “Mary Kom” movie in which Priyanka Chopra essayed her character. The movie released in September 2014 and went on to become the biggest blockbusters of the year. It also highlighted the poor sports infrastructure in the country.
She is an inspiration to millions of girls aspiring to make it big in the boxing ring.
SheThePeople wishes Mary Kom a very Happy Birthday!