Mary Kom. There is no stopping this 35-year old woman! For this Six-Time World Champion, it seems like her work is still in progress and this is just the beginning.
Here are 10 lesser known facts that make her journey so extraordinary and inspiring for others.
1. 18 till I die
She went inside a boxing ring at the age of 18 and won a silver medal in the World Amateur Boxing Championship. This showed her exceptional skills to the world.
2. Lacked family support in the beginning
Parents didn’t support the idea of a woman in boxing. Initially, Mary faced discouragement from her family for taking up an unconventional sport because back then it was not considered as a women’s game. Her father was a poor landless farmer and she got scolded when news of her first win appeared in the newspaper.
3. Education took a back seat
She discontinued her education to devote time towards boxing lessons. She quit school when she was in class 7 at St Xavier’s School so that she can focus on boxing. She appeared for the final exams in private and later on completed her graduation from Churachadpur College, also in private. By that time she was a professional boxer.
4. Didn’t have enough to eat
Never had enough food on the table. Being a boxer one burns a lot of energy during practice sessions, but Mary didn’t have enough food to counter that energy loss. Not one, but for five years, Mary was without proper food and health supplements. But she still continued to fight in and out of the boxing ring to survive and stay in the game.
5. Earning her nickname
She is the only player to get a nickname “Magnificent Mary’ from a boxing association. Not media or fans gave her a nickname, which is usually the case for most of the sportsperson. Her performances were just superlative and in 2007, International Amateur Boxing Association acknowledged her struggle, contribution in women’s boxing and gave her a nickname.
6. A mother who punched harder
Mary Kom continued boxing even after becoming a mother of two. While people doubted her boxing career after she became a mother, she proved everyone wrong with her unbreakable spirit.
7. Angel Mary Kom
She has been providing free training to the underprivileged girls since 2007. Following your passion under any circumstances is what she believes from the core of her heart. For girls from backward classes, she is providing free training in her own MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy, Imphal, which is her home state.
8. Awards galore
Her bag is full of awards. For her outstanding achievements, she has received a lot of government accolades- Arjuna Award, Padma Shree, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award- you name it! There is also a road named after her.
9. Being the only one
The only female boxer from India to enter Olympics in 2012. She was the only woman boxer from India to get the opportunity to participate in the tournament after her success in 2012 AIBA championship.
10. Care for the animals
She is a supporter of animal rights campaigns. Harming animals for entertainment is something she strictly opposes and has lent her support for the welfare of animals.
Mary Kom epitomizes what unwavering commitment and dedication can do. We wish you more power to win many more accolades for India.