It was only after her graduation from college that she was inspired to take boxing as her full-time engagement. She was mainly influenced by gold medallist Dingko Singh’s victory at the 1998 Asian Games.
2. School Dropout
Such was her passion for boxing that Mary Kom chose to take a sabbatical from her high school education and embrace boxing as her calling. She later adopted an alternative method to rejoin studies and eventually graduated from college.
3. Initial Discouragement
Initially, her family was not supportive of her decision to take up boxing, since it was not the conventional sport for women. Her father even went to the extent of scolding his daughter, when her win was featured in the local news.
She won her first silver medal at her debut tournament, in the 46kg weight category, at Pennsylvania, USA. The following year, she went on to win a gold medal at the second AIBA World Women’s Senior Boxing champion ship in Turkey.
Till date, she has 5 AIBA Senior Boxing Championship gold medals to her name. Her outstanding achievement has let her earn the title of ‘Magnificent Mary’ in 2008.
6. Family Life
She is married to K Onler Kom and is a proud mother to two sons, Rechungvar and Khupneivar. She claims that her family has been the biggest source of her strength and has helped her tide over many difficulties.
She has won the Arjuna Award for boxing in 2004, the Padma Shree in 2006 and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2009.
8. Government Honours
Due to her outstanding achievements, the Manipur Government has decided to name the road lining the Manipur Sports Village as Mary Kom Road and has also made her the Additional Superintendant of Police.
9. Olympics Entry
She is the only Indian female boxer to have been included in the 2012 Summer Olympics, after qualifying for the 2012 AIBA world Women’s Boxing Championship.
10. Academy Founder
She is an active member of the Sports Authority of India and is also the founder of the MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy in Manipur.
With this list of facts in hand, you will be able to identify with Mary Kom’s genius in a much better way. Here’s wishing her luck and success in bringing back more medals, to add to her achievements.
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