Mary Kom is an Indian Olympic Boxer.She is the only female to become World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships, and the only boxer (male or female) to win eight World Championship medals. She became the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014.Also ranked as the world’s No. 1 female light-flyweight by the International Boxing Association.
Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte was born on 1 March 1983, in
Kangathei village, Moirang Lamkhai in Churachandpur district of rural Manipur
in India. She is also popularly known
as MC Mary Kom or Magnificent Mary. Her father Mangte
Tonpa Kom and her mother Mangte
Akham Kom were tenant farmers who worked in jhum fields. Her father was also a
wrestler.She came from a poor family. Mary Kom grew in the midst
of poverty and famine. She had the quality of being responsible from the start
itself, as she took care of her three younger siblings Nei, Chung and Jang. She hails from a Christian
Baptist family. Mary Kom grew up in humble surroundings, helping her
parents with farm related chores, going to school and learning athletics
initially and later boxing simultaneously.
Up to 8th standard, she studied in the village school and later, for 9th,10th standards, she moved to Imphal. Kom studied at the Loktak Christian Model High School at Moirang up to her 6th standard and thereafter attended St. Xavier Catholic School, Moirang, up to class 8th. After standard 8th, Kom moved to Adimjati High School, Imphal, for her schooling for class 9th and 10th, but was unable to pass the matriculation exam. she quit her school and gave her examination from NIOS, Imphal and graduation from Churachandpur College.
In school, Kom participated in all types of sports and athletics. She started her training under her first coach K. Kosana Meitei in Imphal. Thereafter she trained under the Manipur State Boxing Coach M. Narjit Singh, at Khuman Lampak, Imphal. Kom kept her interest in boxing a secret from her father as he was concerned that boxing would hurt her face and spoil her chances of marriage. He learnt of it when her photo appeared in a newspaper after she won the state boxing championship in 2000. After 3 years, her father began to support her pursuits in boxing as he grew convinced of her love of boxing.
Mary Kom is married to the footballer Karung Onkholer in 2005. She first met with him in 2000 after her luggage was stolen while travelling by train to Bangalore. In New Delhi while on her way to the National Games in Punjab she met Onkholer who was studying law at Delhi University. Karung Onkholer was the president of the North East students body and helped Kom. They became friends and thereafter began dating each other. After 4 years they were married in 2005.
In 2007, she gave birth to twins sons, Rechungvar Kom and Khupneivar Kom. Onkholer (Onler) let his career slide to take care of their children and make sure that Kom concentrates on training and not on the households. Mary Kom would often be distraught over lack of action in her life. Her husband Onler had an important role to play during this time of inaction. He took the lead to stay at home and look after their newborns full-time. With her husband strong support with her, Mary came back from a two-year sabbatical in a rousing fashion. In the next two years that followed she won the World Championship twice.
In 2013, the couple welcomed their third child Prince Kom.
After her marriage, Kom took a short hiatus from boxing. After she and Onler had their first two children, Kom again started training. She won a silver medal at the 2008 Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in India and a fourth successive gold medal at the 2008 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in China, followed by a gold medal at the 2009 Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.
In 2010, Mary Kom won the gold medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in Kazakhstan. In the 2010 Asian Games, she competed in the 51 kg class and won a bronze medal. In 2011, she won gold at the Asian Women’s Cup in China. In the form of her life, Mary Kom faced a big dilemma going into the London Olympics – She had to compete in the 51 kg category because of the fact that Olympic governing body deciding to play only 3 boxing categories. This proved to be a major challenge for Kom, having played in the 46 kg class for the better part of her professional career.
Her problems were further exacerbated after her coach, Charles Atkinson was not allowed to join her at the Olympic Village, as he was not an International Boxing Association (AIBA) 3 Star Certified coach. As expected, the Leeds-born had a clear weight advantage over her Indian opponent. Mary Kom gave her best, but could not overcome Adams as the match ended at 6-11 and she had to settle for bronze. While Adams would go on to win the gold medal by crushing China’s Ren Cancan by 7-16, Mary became the first Indian woman boxer to win a medal at the Olympics.
On 1 October 2014, Mary Kom won her first gold medal in the boxing at the 2014 Asian Games, held in Incheon, South Korea. On 8 November 2017, she received an unprecedented fifth gold medal at the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) women’s boxing championships held at Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.
On 24 November 2018, she created history by becoming the first woman to win 6 World Championships, achieving this feat at the 10th AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships held in New Delhi, India.
In October 2019, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) named her as a female representative of boxing’s athlete ambassadors group for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) awarded Mary Kom with the first AIBA Legends awards for “promising boxing career.”
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Mary Kom as the brand ambassador for 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Padma Bhushan (Sports), 2013
Arjuna Award (Boxing), 2003
Padma Shri (Sports), 2006
Contender for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, 2007
People of the Year- Limca Book of Records, 2007
CNN-IBN & Reliance Industries’ Real Heroes Award 14.4. 2008 Mon
Pepsi MTV Youth Icon 2008
‘Magnificent Mary’, AIBA 2008
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, 2009
International Boxing Association Ambassador for Women’s Boxing 2009
Sportswoman of the year 2010, Sahara Sports Award