“Because I realize that the hardships I faced in my formative years are the foundation of my strength.”
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, better known as Mary Kom (born 1 March 1983) an Indian Olympic boxer is a five-time amateur boxing champion, the only boxer to win a medal in each one the first seven world championship; the only woman to become World Amateur Boxing champion for six times and only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, She is the first Indian woman boxer to win a gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games and the 2018 Commonwealth games and winning a bronze medal. She has also been ranked as No 1 in AIBA World Women’s Ranking Light Flyweight category.
Born to landless tenant farmers, Mary’s father tilled fields, dug trenches and worked in jhum field. As a young girl Mary faced severe opposition from her parents regarding her career choice as a boxer. So she kept her interest a secret and began her training under M. Narjit Singh, Manipur state boxing coach, her family came to know when her photography appeared in a newspaper after she won the State Boxing Championship in 2000. After which she never looked back.
For her contribution to sports, the Indian government awarded her Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, Padma Shri, Arjuna Award, making her first amateur athlete to win the Padma Bhushan. Nicknamed ‘Magnificent Mary’ she was nominated by the President of India as the member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament and the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, appointed her as National Observers for boxing. Government of Manipur has conferred her with a title ‘Meethoi Leima’, meaning great or exceptional lady after her sixth world title in 2018. She carried the Indian tricolor during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In 2014, a Bollywood movie titled Mary Kom was made based on her life in which Priyanka Chopra portrayed her role. Her autobiography, Unbreakable, was co-authored by Dina Serto and published by Harper Collins. Mother of three, Mary is a supporter of animal rights and associated with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) India.
Life lesson– Winners like her dare to dream and follow their passion. They trust their instincts as they believe their heart will show them correct path. They know their strengths, weaknesses and focuses on the things that matters the most of them.