‘Magnificient Mary’ won ‘Gold’
MC Mary Kom won her fifth Asian Boxing Championship gold medal - first in the 48kg category - by defeating Korea's Kim Hyang Mi in the summit clash at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist won in a unanimous 5-0 verdict.
A sportswoman who has made India proud with her glorious achievements, Mary Kom is a boxer, the only Indian woman boxer who managed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics where she also won a Bronze Medal. A five-time world amateur boxing champion, she is surprisingly serene and philosophical about all her achievements. She was named as Mangte Chungneijang at birth, she chose the name “Mary” as she entered the world of professional sports as it was easier to pronounce.
Early Life of a Champion: She was born on 1st March 1983, Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is an Indian boxer from the northeast state of Manipur. She is also known as MC Mary Kom or Magnificent Mary. Mary Kom is famed as a five time World Boxing Champion and the only boxer to win a medal in every one of the six world championships. In the 2012 Olympics, she became the first Indian women boxer to qualify and win a bronze medal in the 51 kg flyweight category of Boxing. She is currently ranked as Number. 4 in the Flyweight category of AIBA World Women's Ranking.Mary was born in Kangathei, Manipur. She did her schooling from Loktak Christian Model High School, Moirang till class VI and studied in St. Xavier Catholic School, Moirang till class VIII. She then completed her schooling from NIOS, Imphal and did her graduation from Churachandpur College. Mary Kom is a mother of twin sons, Rechungvar and Khupneivar; and is married to K Onler Kom. She had an eager interest in athletics since childhood and the success of Dingko Singh is what really inspired her to become a boxer. Born into a poor family she began helping her parents by working in the fields while still very young. As a school girl she used to play a variety of sports—hockey, football, and athletics—but surprisingly not boxing! When the Manipuri boxer Dingko Singh won a gold at the Asian Games in 1998, the girl was inspired to take up boxing. Still taking up a sport considered “masculine” by social standards was no easy task for the young tribal girl. But Mary was not someone to be discouraged, and traveled to Imphal to train in athletics.
She met K Onler Kom in 2001 when she was at New Delhi on her way to National Games in Punjab. The young man was highly impressed by Mary’s grit and ambitions. The couple dated for four years before tying the knot in 2005. They have been blessed with three sons.
1. Mary Kom's career started in 2000 after her victory in the Manipur state women's boxing championship and the regional championship in West Bengal. In 2001, she started competing at international level. She was only 18 years old when she made her international debut at the first AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in United States, winning a silver medal in the 48 kg weight category. In 2002, she won a gold medal in the 45 kg weight class at the second AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Turkey. She also won a gold medal in the 45 kg weight category at the Witch Cup in Hungary in the same year.
2. In 2003, Mary Kom won a gold medal in the 46 kg weight class at the Asian Women's Boxing Championship in India and in 2004 she won a gold medal at the Women's Boxing World Cup in Norway. In 2005, she again won a gold medal at the Asian Women's Boxing Championship in Taiwan and the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Russia both in the 46 kg weight class. In 2006, she won a gold medal at the Venus Women's Box Cup in Denmark and won gold again at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in India.
3. After a one year break, Mary Kom returned in 2008 to win a silver medal at the Asian Women's Boxing Championship held in India and won a fourth successive gold medal at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in China, both were in the 46 weigh category. In 2009 she won a gold medal at the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.
4. In 2010, Mary Kom won a gold medal at the Asian Women's Boxing Championship in Kazakhstan and her fifth consecutive gold medal in the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Barbados. She competed in the 48 kg weight class because AIBA had discontinued using the 46 kg class. She also participated in the 51 kg weight class at the Asian Games and won a bronze medal.
5. In the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, India. She had the honor of holding the Queen's Baton along with Vijender Singh for the opening ceremony run in the stadium. However, she did not compete as women's boxing event was not included in the Games. In 2011, she won a gold medal in the 48 kg weight class at the Asian Women's Cup in China. In 2012, she won a gold medal in the 51 kg weight class at the Asian Women's Boxing Championship in Mongolia.
6. The 2012 London Olympics brought her more respect and honor as she became the first Indian women boxer to qualify and win a bronze medal at the Olympics. She took part in the 51 kg weight category and also became the third Indian woman to win an individual medal at the Olympics.
7. In 2014 Asian Games, she won a gold medal and created history for India. She won the gold in the women's flyweight (48-52 kg) division which was her first gold medal in the Asian Games.
1. Arjuna Award (Boxing) in 2003
2. Padma Shree (Sports) in 2006
3. Contender for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2007
4. People of the Year - Limca Book of Records in 2007
5. CNN-IBN & Reliance Industries' Real Heroes Award in 2008
6. Pepsi MTV Youth Icon in 2008
7. 'Magnificent Mary', AIBA in 2008
8. Felicitation by Zomi Students' Federation (ZSF) at New Lamka YPA Hall in 2008
9. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2009
10. International Boxing Association's Ambassador for Women's Boxing in 2009
11. Sportswoman of the year, Sahara Sports Award in 2010
Her much awaited autobiography, ‘Unbreakable’ which chronicles all her life’s struggles and how she rose above them, was released by Harper Collins in 2013. The famous Indian actor Priyanka Chopra plays this sports woman in a Bollywood movie, “Mary Kom” based on her life.