Story of Mary Kom

Throughout history, poets and philosophers have written about the power and will of a mother. In modern-day history, Indian female boxer Mary Kom is a real-life example of this phenomenon. In a world where female athletes retire after becoming a mother, Mary Kom continued playing and became a champion.

Mary was born in a remote and rural village named Kagathei, Manipur. Her parents gave her the name Chungneijang. Her family was poor. Her father worked as a farmer and had a few farm animals too. Her father was also an athlete during his schooling years. He was an amateur wrestler. Blessed with good athletic genetics, mary Kom too loved playing different sports. Her favourite of all sports was the Javelin throw. In an interview later, she attributes her strong shoulders to her javelin practices.

Mary was still in her mid-teens when Dingko Singh, a medalist for India came back to Manipur. Dingko Singh had recently represented India in the Bangkok Asian games of 1998. He had bagged a gold medal as well. He rose to popularity quickly and became a local icon.
Soon after Dingko’s return boxing became popular among Manipur’s youth. A young Mary Kom was no different. She had recently failed her matriculation exams. Hence she decided to dedicate her time and energy to sports.

At the age of just 15, Mary Kom joined Imphal Sports Academy. She started her training under Kosanan Metei. Her coach was impressed by the dedication that Mary brought with her. For most children in the sports academy, sports was just a passion. But for Mary it was both her Plan A and Plan B. She just could not fail in it. Kosanan saw a prodigy in Mary. Her ability to learn boxing techniques was faster than anyone he had ever trained. He was quick to transfer Mary Kom under the state coach Narjit Singh.

Narjit Singh was from Haryana and was unable to remember Amry Kom’s actual name. He instead signed her in a tournament under the name of Mary Kom. Mary aced the contest and the name stuck with her. The Father of Mary Kom on the other had no idea what her daughter was up to. He was against the idea of her boxing. Boxing is notoriously known to cause permanent damage to the face. His father, unknown of the gift Mary had, wanted her to keep her face safe to find a suitable marriage.

Mary’s father got to know this only after he saw the picture of Mary in a newspaper. Mary Kom had just won the national championship. Never again did his father disapprove of her sports.

After winning the national championship, she represented India at the 2002 Boxing Championship. At just age 20, Mary Kom bagged gold at the championship. She became the first Indian woman to do so. She continued her winning ways in two more championships in 2005 and 2006. She now had won gold in three consecutive championships. Her achievements did not go unnoticed. The Indian government awarded Mary with Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest citizen honour.

Her journey till then was inspiring enough but what she did next was even better. Mary Kom took a leave from boxing after 2006 for her marriage and then her first childbirth. The process of childbirth does irreversible damage to a woman’s body. And hence most female athletes retire after going through it. But Mary Kom was built differently. Two years later she came back into boxing and won her fourth Championship. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Indians were sure of a medal from her. She did not disappoint. Mary Kom brought home a Bronze.

She ended her career with six championships, the most in women’s boxing. In 2020 she was awarded India’s second-highest citizen honour, The Padma Vibhusana. She currently works as India’s national boxing observer making sure talents like her don’t go unnoticed.

As children, we were taught about the lessons we can learn from playing sports. Mary Kom is a great example of learning from what you are playing. Like boxing, life threw numerous punches at Mary Kom. But like a champ, she never backed down both in the boxing ring and in life.

FAQs on Mary Kom

Mary Kom movie?

Mary Kom is a 2014 Indian Hindi-language biographical sports film.

Mary Kom husband?

K Onler Kom

Mary Kom children?

She has three children- Prince Kom, Rechungvar Kom, Khupneivar Kom.

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