When women’s boxing appeared at the Olympics Games, in over a hundred years of the games’ existence, very little arguments were made against the possibility of a medal by a certain Indian hope in the flyweight category. For the women’s event entered the competition for the first time after the mens’ category has already been at the games for more than a century, turns out the Magnificent Mary needed just one attempt.
The Indian boxer had the skills to turn the eyes of the Indian sports watcher from the other much popular Olympics events in the country to the squared arena. In the first game, Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte defeated Poland boxer Karolina Michalczuk with a score of 19 to 14.
Mary Kom has now won a record six Gold medals in the Women’s World Boxing Championship. Besides a gold in the Asian Games, Mary has five gold medals in the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships. In the quarter-final games that followed, Mary Kom defeated Maroua Rahali of Tunisia with the scoreboard reading 15-6. She, however lost in the semi-finals to Britain’s Nicola Adams, who went on to become the first women gold medallist at Boxing events in Olympics. Kom ended up winning an Olympic Bronze medal.
But, there is so much more to the legendary boxer than the Olympic glory. On her 36th birthday, we list a few amazing facts about Magnificent Mary.
- Kom was born in a small village called Kangathei, Moirang Lamkhai or Churachandpur district in India’s north-eastern state of Manipur.
- The Boxing star came from a poor family, with her parents Mangte Tonpa Kom, Mangte Akham Kom being tenant farmers. Kom helped her parents with farm-related activities.
- Kom did her schooling from Loktak Christian Model High School, Moirang till the sixth standard and later moved to St. Xavier Catholic School for the next two years. At her next school, she was unable to pass her matriculation exam, following which she left schooling.
- In the 1998 Bangkok Asian games, Manipuri Boxer Dingo Singh won a gold medal which inspired Mary Kom to give boxing a chance.
- Kom had a great start to her career, she won gold medals at World Amateur Boxing Championship. At World Championship she was a success throughout. She won golds at 2002 (Antalya), 2005 (Podolsk), 2006 (New Delhi), 2008 (Ningbo City), 2010 (Bridgetown), with the latest being 2018 (New Delhi).
- Her autobiography Unbreakable was published in 2013. It was co-authored by Dina Serto.
- A year later, a biographical movie was released on Mary Kom. The lead role was Mary Kom was played by Priyanka Chopra.
- She has won many national and international awards, such as:
- Arjuna Award, 2003,
- Padma Shri, 2006,
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, 2008,
- Padma Bhushan, 2013