Have you heard the name “Chengnei Jang Mary Kom Hmangte”?
Yes, this is Mary Kom, the famous boxing world champion. Born in Manipur, she is the only female who has made India proud by winning World Amateur Boxing Championship for six times. Not only this, Mary is unstoppable. She bagged medals as the only female boxer in each of the total seven world championships held till date.
A Bollywood biological sports movie has been made on her titled ‘Mary Kom’ in 2014. It was directed by Omung Kumar. Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Sanjay Leela Bhansali produced the film. The famous Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra played the lead role. The supporting roles were fabulously given justice by Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa. The film portrayed the not-so-easy but determined journey of the legendary boxer depicting how she struggled hard to become a boxer and won 2008 World Championship in Ningbo.
Mary Kom – Childhood/Early Life
Mary Kom was born in a Christian Baptist family in Kangathei, Moirang Lamkhai in rural Manipur’s Churachandpur district, India. Her parents named Mangte Tonpe Kom and Mangte Akham Kom used to work as tenant farmers in Jhum fields. Little Kom, surrounded by an ordinary background used to assist her parents in farm oriented tasks. Besides, she attended school and learned athletics. Later, she entered boxing.
Her father was a wrestler when he was young. Mary was the eldest child. She has two siblings, a brother and a sister.
Mary Kom – Education And School days
Mary Kom went to Loktak Christian Model High School, Moirang. There she studied upto 6th standard. After that, she attended St. Xavier Catholic School in Moirang where she studied till Class VIII. It was during this period when Mary showed sheer interest in athletics like javelin and 400 meters running.
It was the time when magic happened. A fellow Manipuri named Dingko Singh won a gold medal in 1988 Bangkok Asian games inspiring lots of Manipuri Youngsters in Boxing. Mary wasn’t an exception.
She shifted to Adimjati high School after class VIII where she completed her class IX and X. Unfortunately, she didn’t click matriculation exam with passing marks. Mary had no interest in reappearing for the exam. Hence, she left that school and sat for an examination from NIOS Imphal. Afterwards, she graduated from Churachandpur College.
MC Mary Kom was a shining sportsperson since her early days. She participated in athletics, football, and volleyball, and later switched to boxing in the year 2000.
Mary Kom – Boxing Training/ Coaching
Coach Kosana Meitei in Imphal was her first boxing coach. At the tender age of 15, Mary decided to study at the Sports Academy, Imphal which took her to sky height. Her Coach, Meitei mentioned her as a truly devoted and hard working girl in an interview with the BBC.
According to the remembrance of the coach, Mary, with her strong will power, picked up boxing basics quite fast. After that, she got training under M. Narjit Singh, Manipur State Boxing Coach at Imphal’s Khumam Lampak.
At first, Mary Kom’s father didn’t know about her daughter’s interest in boxing. Teen aged Mary preferred to keep it a secret as her father, an ex-wrestler used to think that the sport can injure Mary’s face and ruin her life as nobody will marry her.
But, her shinning performance didn’t remain under cover for long as her photo appeared in a local newspaper after her win in 2000 State Boxing Championship. Things were not easy for the lady boxer, and she got her father’s support after three years.
Mary Kom – Marriage, Children and Family
Like majority of Indian women, Mary also took a short break from boxing career after her marriage with Onler Karong. But, her love and passion for boxing convinced her to shake hands with the ring again. After giving birth to two beautiful children, she came back to train. After giving birth to her third child in 2013, Mary didn’t stop with her career. Also, she adopted a beautiful baby girl in 2018 and made her a proud mother of 4.
Mary Kom – Achievements and Awards
She secured a Silver Medal at 2008 Asian Women’s Boxing Championship held in India.
An unconquerable Mary won the fourth successive Gold Medal at the 2008 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships held in China. In 2009, she again crowned herself with a prestigious Gold Medal at Asian Indoor Games held in Vietnam.
In 2014, she became the first woman boxer from India who won a Gold Medal in the Asian Games held in South Korea. In 2018, Commonwealth Games, she was the one to win a gold as the first Indian woman boxer.
Mary Kom – Her Contribution To Aspiring Boxers
India’s pride Mary Kom always wants to give the aspiring boxers all facilities to boost up the training. She owns a Boxing Academy spreading across 3.3 acres located in Manipur’s Imphal West District’s Langol hills. Presently, it accommodates 45 young boxers among which 20 boxers are girls.
The academy’s managing director named Onler Karong who is also Mary’s husband told PTI, “Mary wanted to give back to the sport which has made her famous and this was her dream come true.”
Mary Kom – Success Story
The boxing legend’s name doesn’t stop with MC Mary Kom, she has earned many titles by world renowned associations.
She is India’s only female boxer who won a bronze medal in London Olympics 2012. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) named her ‘Magnificent Mary’. Manipur government has titled her as ‘Meetoi Leima’.
Again, the World Olympic Association (WOA) has allowed the six-time world Champion to use their post nominal letters ‘OLY’ that isn’t earned by any other female boxer from India.
Mary has many feathers on her cap like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Padma Bhusan, Padma Shri, Arjuna Award, and many more.
Her extraordinary journey doesn’t stop here. Recently, in the year 2016, she became a Rajya Sabha MP.
She managed to get support from private sponsors for her activities related to making the upcoming boxers ready to compete and bring medals and honor to India. Herbalife, a reputed global nutrition company provides support for 45 trainees. Plus, Olympic Gold Quest look after seven trainees via a scholarship system. Then, Tata Trust takes care of 15 trainee boxers. Sai Extension Center helps 40 trainees.
What Makes Mary Kom – The SuperHer?
Chengneijang Mary Kom Hmangte is not only a celebrated boxer but also a gold-hearted human being. She is doing everything, she can, for giving every kind of superior facilities to the upcoming boxers so that our country keeps on achieving the top position in boxing consistently. Plus, the sports professionals will get a decent life full of glory.
Mary Kom never stopped chasing her dreams and so her achievements. Her inspiring journey teaches all the young girls to do everything for their dreams. No matter what, the family or society says, but one day the your success will say everything.
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