Hailing from a small village in Manipur, poverty is something Mary Kom has learnt to live with from a very early age. But, nothing is going to stop this determined lady from pursuing her passion. Constantly tormented by her love for boxing.
THIS PIECE is about the triumph of an individual, who has absolutely nothing but will power (that never fails her) and a burning passion for what she loves doing that makes her scale great heights.
Hailing from a small village in Manipur, poverty is something she has learnt to live with from a very early age. But, nothing is going to stop this determined lady from pursuing her passion. Constantly tormented by the irresistible call and her love for sports, Mary Kom finally fell prey to this very call which made her donning the gloves in 2000.
Recently back from winning gold at the Asian Indoor Meet held in Hanoi ,Mary Kom is at the top of her career. Says Mary “I am elated all five of us representing India came back winning”. The Indian team won 5 medals: two gold, two silver and a bronze. Shortly after her win, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) conferred her ‘AIBA Special Award’ for her outstanding contribution to boxing. On Nov 9, she was awarded Sahara Sports Women of The Year award in Mumbai.
Mary Kom, the Manipuri pugilist made her entry into the world of sports first at the age of seventeen as an athlete competing at state level. Fortunately for her, the desire to be in the ring finally got a much needed lift when Dingko Singh, the boxer from Manipur, came back home winning the Asian Championship title at Bangkok amid great celebration. That moment of glory somewhere silently sowed the seeds of the beginning of a glorious journey of a young girl into the male dominated world of boxing
In 2000, she picked up boxing and within three months of her entry into the ring, she became the state level champion after wining her 1st title. She went on to clinch her first national title at 1st Women National Boxing Championship held at Chennai in 2001 followed by her win in the Seventh East India Women’s Boxing Championship held in West Bengal the same year.
Her Official Website : http://www.marykom.com/marykom/index.php
After that, it rained golds and titles for Mary Kom adding five national championship titles between 2000 to 2005. She entered the international arena bringing home her first international title winning the Second AIBA World Women’s Senior Boxing Championship title (2002) held in Antalya, Turkey, defeating Jang Song-Ae of North Korea in the final and in 2003, she struck gold in the finals of Asian Women Championship held at Hissar. From then on, nothing seems to stop Mary Kom as she bagged one title after the other
On her remarkable feat and the gold rush, Mary humbly says “By the grace of God, I am where I am today. He has been guiding me through the challenges that come my way.” On probing a little further, she says “My inherent will power, hard work and my love for boxing has been my greatest strength and weapon”
On the strategy that she adopts in the ring, she says “The first two rounds I try to observe my opponent, their technique and also their physical built. Depending on that I play my game.” That’s how the killer instinct in her goes for the kill.
Mary took a two year break from boxing when she gave birth to twins. When she started preparing herself for her comeback, Mary came to realize that coming back into professional boxing after a break is not an easy thing.
“Seven months after I gave birth, I resumed my training and to my surprise it was tougher than I imagined. The first few days of training, my body refused to respond but I was determined to work my way through”, she sums up this painful and frustrating phase of her career.
More determined than ever before, she went through intense training with the help of her coaches. In her first comeback match, she won the International Boxing Association (AIBA) 5th Women’s World Championships in China winning her fourth title surprising the whole world with her talent and will power, compelling AIBA to name her ‘Magnificent Mary’ and subsequently made her the face of its campaign for the inclusion of women’s boxing in the 2012 London Olympics.
On successfully clinching the title after motherhood, says Mary “I couldn’t work as hard as I wanted to after becoming a mother, but I would say my experience and understanding of the game contribute to my winning”. Did she ever think of quitting the game after staying away from the ring due to motherhood? “No, never. I can’t imagine life without boxing. I always knew I will come back and I am planning to continue as long as my body permits me” , she added.
For her outstanding contribution in the field of sports, she was awarded Arjuna Award in 2003 followed by Padmashree award in 2005 and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year. Says Mary, on winning India’s highest civilian awards “I feel extremely blessed that the Govt is recognising my talent and hard work. It makes me want to give my best in my future career.”