In the pugilistic world, Mary Kom OLY is a famous Indian boxer and an incumbent member of the Parliament of India. In boxing, she's also an amateur. And in recent years, she has also joined politics. She is one of the most renowned sports personalities in India and the world. The story of Mary Kom is an inspiration for all those who are struggling in their profession (especially sports). They can learn how they can overcome all these problems to achieve success in their life by just going after what they love to do.
Mary Kom: an Introduction
Mary Kom, who is well-known due to her many magnificent performances during highly anticipated matches, was born on November 24th, 1992 in a small village in the state of Manipur, India. Mary Kom's full name is Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom OLY, but she is more popularly known as Mary Kom in short.
Mary Kom, who is a current member of Parliament but also an Indian boxer and politician and has done many great things for her country since being young, won the bronze medal for India at the London Olympics of 2012. Aside from this success, only one woman has achieved what she has accomplished - winning both a single championship and multiple championships. That woman is none other than Mathew's wife.
Mary Kom was ranked Number 1 by the International Boxing Association, known as AIBA, in her light-flyweight category. Mary Kom became the first Indian female athlete to win a gold medal in any Commonwealth games when she won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She also became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at any Asian competition after winning gold at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Mary Kom has been a six-time boxing champion and is currently one of only two athletes who hold all three titles of record holder for most titles won in world amateur boxing.
The current president of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, nominated Mary Kom as an honorable member of the Rajya Sabha (which is known as the upper house of the Indian Parliament) on April 25th, 2016. One year after she was nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha by the Indian President, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the Government of India appointed Mary Kom and Akhil Kumar as the national observers for the development of Indian boxing; that is with reference to her contribution in developing sporting excellence in India.
On 11 December 2018, the government of Manipur (the Hometown of Mary Kom) awarded Mary Kom with a title called "Meethoi Leima" which translates loosely to "exceptional or greatest lady" in a felicitation ceremony held in one of the prestigious centers after she won the gold medal for the sixth time this year.
After she won her medal at the world championships held in 2019 and became the most successful boxer across all worldwide events wherever it's held, she was awarded the Padma Vibhushan award on 3 January 2020 by the then Chief Minister of Manipur.
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Family and Childhood
Mary Kom was born in a small village (Kagathei village, Moirang Lamkhai) in the rural part of the Churachandpur district of Manipur in India. Mary Kom is one of the renowned personalities of India today and belongs to a poor or lower-middle-class family of Kom.
The parents of Mary Kom are Mangte Tonpa and Mangte Akham, and they used to be tenant farmers (meaning that they farm on land owned by someone else) who worked in the Jhumpa fields of Manipur. Mary Kom helped her parents with farming and agriculture-related tasks from her childhood onward.
In her early days, her daily routines include going to school to help her parents with agricultural/farming duties in the fields, then learning athletics and eventually boxing at the same time. In terms of composition, Mary Kom belongs to a family of five: her father is a keen wrestler who used to be active since his younger days when he supported and motivated Mary Kom more actively throughout athletics and boxing practice. Mary Kom hails from a Christian Baptist family with younger brothers as well as sisters.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom OLY (whose full name is Mary Kom) was born in Kagathei village, Moirang Lamkhai, in the Churachandpur district of Manipur, India. The Kom family emigrated to India from a small village they lived in originally in Myanmar. Mary Kom's parents were tenant farmers, meaning that they farmed land owned by someone else (they used traditional farming tools and techniques like using a shovel instead of heavy tractors), but mostly worked in the Jhumpa fields near their home. Her father was an avid wrestler and enjoyed watching it when she was little.
Here's more about her upbringing and family life: In her childhood or initial days, the daily routine Mary Kom includes going to school before helping her parents with farm-related chores, and after that learning athletics (she uses mainly boxing) initially but then later she added on Karate as well. She comes from a Christian Baptist family with two younger siblings; one sister and one brother who are both younger than her.
Mary Kom went to multiple schools during her time in school because of many reasons. Her first was known as the Loktak Christian Model High School, which was situated at Moirang. She studied until sixth grade at this location and then attended the St. Xavier Catholic School up through eighth grade before going to a local government high school in Moirang where she began taking interest in the 400-meters running and javelin. Through her sister, Mary Kom grew to know Dingko Singh well; over time, he helped inspire young people such as herself to take up boxing.
After meeting him, social media marketing became an important skill for her and she successfully reached out to more children interested in taking up boxing. With Dingko Singh's fame, it helped make other people aware of the sport, which motivated others such as herself to give boxing a try.
When Mary Kom passed her secondary school examinations from the St. Xavier Catholic School, she moved to Adimjati High School for her high school education in the 9th and 10th grades. In her 9th grade in high school, it was difficult for Mary Kom to keep up with both her boxing training and competing on the varsity team. She became hyper-focused on becoming an elite boxer, which left little time for studying.
She failed a couple of times when she first tried taking board exams during those challenging years. After she could not pass her board exams during the midterm, Mary Kom decided to come back one more time for the exam she failed and gave her examinations from Niosh Olimp Testimony Board instead. The next year, Mary Kom switched schools again to finish off her graduation from Churachandpur College where she also studied higher education courses as well as tutored kids in their boarding schools.
Your interest in boxing or another sport is as unique as you are. That's why during her schooling, Mary Kom participated in all types of sports and sporting events held in her school, but it was only the success of Dingko Singh that inspired Mary Kom to pursue boxing. With truly and completely inspired by the success of Dingko Singh and developing interest in boxing from Mary Kom, she switched her focus from sports to Boxing to pursue a career in Boxing only. To make a career in Boxing, she started taking boxing classes and training under K Kosana Meitei when she was just 15 years old.
With a more focused future on her boxing career, Mary Kom decided to leave her home and stay at the Imphal Sports Academy when she was just 15. Meitei said that he remembers that when launching into work on boxing, she never lost focus even with thoughts running wild of something else back home or even with life-changing situations like leaving family behind for an academy that was just one hour away from home.
In discussions with BBC, he also mentions how fiercely focused she remains, especially after moving up through the ranks quickly by being one of his most dedicated students, not to mention with "such raw determination."
After completing her training under K Kosana Meitei, Mary Kom then started training with M Narjit Singh at Khuman Lampak. For many years, Mary Kom kept her keen interest in boxing hidden from her father because it would only make him more concerned for her. The major concern for her father with her actively participating in Boxing was that this sport had a high chance of damaging her face and ultimately ruining her chances of getting married. But the truth about how active she was participating in Boxing only really came to light when he saw a picture of her winning the state boxing championship in 2000. This led to many conflicts between them and eventually resolved after three years as he was convinced on behalf of his love for Boxing.
Early Professional Life
Mary Kom, who fell in love with Karong Onkholer Koms (a famous state-level footballer) and started dating him in 2000, got married to him in 2004. After her marriage in 2004, Mary Kom decided to take a break from her boxing career, took a short hiatus from it, and then had twins. Once the kids were grown and there was time again for the training, Mary Kom went back out and won a silver medal in 2007.
They mutually decided that she would go back into training in 2008 and committed to caring for the children while their father continued to work. That same year she won another silver at the Asian Women's Boxing Championship in China before going on to win golds at both the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship of 2008 as well as the 2010 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships of Barbados. When AIBA removed her from the 46 KG category in 2010, she contested under the 48 KG category at both competitions but lost. Later, AIBA abandoned that weight class entirely.
Championships and Medals
Mary Kom participated in the 51 KG class at the 2010 Asian Games and won a bronze medal. A year later, she competed under the 48 KG class in the 2011 Asia's Women's World Championships and won a gold medal. In 2010, she was given a special award called "honor of bearing the Queen's Baton." She did compete in this tournament for the Commonwealth Games but left her final match before then. Within two days, on October 1st, 2014, she managed to add her first gold medal to her list by beating Zhaina Shekerbekova from Kazakhstan in a flyweight boxing duel at the Asian Games of 2014.
We added one more gold medal to Mary Kom's collection on November 8th, when she won the fifth consecutive gold medal at the ASBC's (Asian Boxing Confederation) women's boxing championship in Vietnam while competing under the 48 KG class. In 2018, the flyweight category was also included in the Commonwealth Games.
Mary Kom managed to win a single gold medal in this event as well, and that is something she has not achieved before this date. That year, Mary Kom also went on to win a gold medal at All-Africa Games and a world championship as well for her personal record of six world championships.
Mary Kom: Achievements, Awards, and Recognition
Mary Kom not only became the most celebrated Indian person in boxing, but she also set some new standards in amateur boxing. She has achieved many big feats and has earned many awards during her career, including major ones like Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan Awards. She also became the first amateur boxer to surpass professional athletes from other popular sports when it came to awards, endorsements, popularity, and earnings.
There are many national as well as other major awards won by her during her boxing career. Following is the list of national and other major awards that Mary Kom has earned throughout her complete boxing career:
Meethoileima' title from Manipur Government in 2018
Honorary Doctorate degree (D Litt) from North-Eastern Hill University on 29 March 2016 and (DPhil) from Kaziranga University on 14 January 2019
Olympians for Life by WOA
Sportswoman of the year 2010, Sahara Sports Award
International Boxing Association's Ambassador for Women's Boxing 2009 (TSE 30 July 2009 Thur)
'Magnificent Mary', AIBA 2008
Pepsi MTV Youth Icon 2008
CNN-IBN & Reliance Industries' Real Heroes Award
People of the Year- Limca Book of Records, 2007
Arjuna Award (Boxing), 2003
Padma Shri (Sports), 2006
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award, 2009
Padma Bhushan (Sports), 2013
Padma Vibhushan (Sports), 2020
Mary Kom's autobiography Unbreakable was published in the late half of 2013. It also became a Bollywood movie released to theaters in September 2014. It has been acquired by seventeen libraries on Amazon such as the University of Washington, UA Library Westheimer, and Hong Kong Baptist University, which indicates that this autobiography of hers could be very popular among readers according to their demands for Mary Kom's book.
The Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is an interesting children’s storybook that showcases short stories about women and includes role models such as Mary Kom among its stories. There is one entry of Mary Kom in this book which serves as the role model of its relevant story. It also shows that a 2016 documentary edition focused on female empowerment showed her as a cameo character in the background of this documentary produced by The Documentary Group, Inc.
Mary Kom: Personal Life
Some people might not know Mary Kom. However, Mary Kom is one of the most decorated professional athletes of all time, with a career spanning over 20 years. The first public service she performed was watching out for a stranger when she thought her luggage had been stolen in Bangalore back in 2000. She met this man who helped her find and recover her luggage, who happened to be Mr. Onkholer Karung, husband of inspiration (and current wife) and fellow professional boxer Mrs. Mary Kom.
Their first meeting was an interesting one, where they met while Mrs. Kom was on a train en route to Hyderabad from New Delhi in late 2000; unfortunately, she lost her luggage, but thanks to the immense kindness and bravery of this gentleman who found her missing luggage at the station—which happened right before their train departed again! After that first encounter which lasted for two hours, they became friends immediately and stayed in touch for many years after that fateful day. Nowadays you can find them together each and every day as husband and wife, who are also parents to five children.
Mary Kom: Social Cause Association
Mary Kom, a North-eastern Indian fighter, is an animal rights activist. She takes part in movements that aim to protect the environment and animals from harm, which has helped her establish a unique identity. She even starred in an ad where she called for an end to the use of elephants in circuses, who were later supporting the cause of PETA India. Unlike other circuses where humans enjoy watching animals perform for them without any movement or participation of their own, Mary Kom openly spoke out about how cruel circuses can be and these actions make circus shows one of the worst places for animals to be tortured by humans to earn money.
Although as a mother she could feel sadness in her heart when she saw these animals being beaten and tortured by people at the direction of their master, those people who own the circuses just to make some quick cash, there was nothing she could do against those cruel circuses that torture and kill these animals on a daily basis and even sell them off once their little ones are taken away from them. Circus-goers should not buy into this deceitful act that says they're only entertaining animals instead of torturing them.
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