When India stands confused over the status of women in society amidst #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, MC Mary Kom has emerged yet again as India’s all-time greatest athlete.
In this cricket-crazy country, pursuing any other sports is considered foolishness. And on the top of it if you are a woman, the chances are very high that the idea will be laughed upon and buried to be forgotten forever. But not if you are Mary Kom.
Be it poverty, lack of parental support, marriage, pregnancy, motherhood or family responsibilities- this super-woman has always boxed and kicked her way to break and create records over and over again. Here are some of the interesting facts about Mary Kom that every Indian should know to remind themselves whenever they are feeling low or in a spree of self-pity:
1. Mary Kom was born in a poor family living in a remote village in Manipur. So no fancy diet or no after-school classes for her as she spent her childhood helping her parents with farm-related chores.
2. Mary Kom was always interested in sports. She played all kinds in her school- javelin, volleyball, football and running. But when a fellow Manipuri returned with a gold medal from Bangkok Asian Games, then this village girl got inspired that things are not really that impossible.
3. Mary Kom was unable to clear class 10th. Not wishing to reappear, she quit school and later gave her examination from NIOS. Yes, she was a school drop-out. But later, she completed her graduation from Churachadpur College in private.
4. Barely at the age of 15, Mary left her home to study at the Sports Academy in the state capital Imphal where she began her formal training in boxing. All this while, her father was oblivious of her passion and came to know only when she won the state boxing championship.
5. Mary Kom has won a medal every time. When she appeared in the World Amateur Boxing Championship scene as an 18-year-old, she surprised everyone and ended up winning the silver medal in her category.
6. For a large part of her career, she never got the diet that could be considered worthy of a boxer who has to burn huge amounts of energy during practice and of course during the actual fights.
7. Mary Kom is the only sportsperson to get a nickname from a sports authority. The title of ‘Maginficient Mary’ is given to her by the International Amateur Boxing Association in 2007 after her outstanding performance.
8. During the recent sixth consecutive win, she has once again beaten some incredible odds. Like, her opponent must be just 3 years old when Mary won her first championship. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?