Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom was born 1 March 1983, also known as MC Mary Kom, Magnificent Mary or simply Mary Kom, is an Indian boxer who belongs to Kom tribal community of north-eastern state of Manipur. Here are the best life lessons you can learn from her:
- Your background doesn’t decide your future:
Being born in a poor family, Mary Kom had to help her parents work in the fields, cut woods, make charcoal and do fishing. She also had look after 2 younger sister and a brother. This proves how Mary overcame all the hardships and inconvenience and created a name for herself in the arena of world boxing.
- Always dream and aim in life:
Mary always dreamed of becoming a good athlete in her school days and took to sports to provide financial support to her family.
- Take inspiration from others:
When Dingko Singh demonstrated herself as a women boxer at the 5th National Games in Manipur, Mary got inspired with her success and thought she also should give a try into boxing.
- Be passionate about what you learn:
Mary began boxing in 2000 and was a quick learner. She preferred to put through the same paces as the boys around her. In just 2 weeks, she learnt all the basics and even when her parents didn’t like her winning the state boxing championship, she didn’t lose hope and continued her career in boxing.
- Do not let anybody down and try to gain support from your loved ones:
Mary’s father was totally against her getting into the boxing field as “sports” were considered as taboo for women. Her parents were worried that she would never get married but her passion towards boxing had got better and finally her parents had to give a nod to what she was doing.
- Be self-determined and have strong willpower:
Mary Kom joined Sports Authority of India, Khuman Lampak and underwent an intensive training from coach and mentor, Shri. Ibomcha Singh. She made her debut at the age of 18 at first Women World Boxing Championship held at Pennysylvania, USA within a year of learning boxing. In her debut itself, she won a silver medal of 46kg weight and after a year or so, she won the gold medal at the second Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA) World Women’s Senior Boxing Championship held at Antalya, Turkey.
- Do not give up till you reach your goal:
Mary Kom has overcome gender bias, poverty, the limitations of her small size, and the disadvantages of the small region to win the olympic medal for boxing. She is an inspiration not only for the North-Eastern people but also for women who endure hardships on a daily basis.
Awards and Recognition:
- Padma Bhushan (Sports), 2013
- Arjuna Award (Boxing), 2003
- Padma Shree (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
- Pepsi MTV Youth Icon 2008
- ‘Magnificent Mary’, AIBA 2008
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, 2009
- International Boxing Association’s Ambassador for Women’s Boxing 2009 (TSE 30 July 2009 Thur)
- Sportswoman of the year 2010, Sahara Sports Award
- For the Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics
- INR50 lakh (US$80,000) cash award from the Rajasthan Government.
- INR50 lakh (US$80,000) cash award and two acres of land from the Manipur Government.
- INR20 lakh (US$32,000) cash award from the Assam Government.
- INR10 lakh (US$16,000) cash award from the Arunachal Pradesh Government.
- INR10 lakh (US$16,000) cash award from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (India).
- INR40 lakh (US$64,000) cash award from the North Eastern Council.
Mary Kom’s Quotes
- “Don’t give up as there is always a next time. Think that if Mary Kom, a mother of two, can do it, why can’t you?.
- “I do not only rely on my technique or strength but also on my mind,”
- “To be a successful boxer one must also have a strong heart. Some women are physically strong but fail when it comes to having a strong heart. One also must have the zeal and the right fighting spirit,” says Mary kom.
- “We work harder than men and are determined to fight with all our strength to make our nation proud. God has given me the talent and it’s only because of sheer grit and hard work that I have made it so far.”
- “If I, being a mother of two, can win a medal, so can you all. Take me as an example and don`t give up”.
- “People used to say that boxing is for men and not for women and I thought I will show them some day. I promised myself and I proved myself”
- “Boxing is not easy. When I started, my male friends would say it is not a woman’s sport. But I say if men can do it then why not women.”
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