Chungneijang Mary Kom Mangte, better known as Mary Kom is an Indian amateur boxer and the only woman to make six times winning record of World Amateur Boxing Championship and the only female boxer to win a medal in each of the first seven world championships. She is also the only Indian female boxer to have qualified for the Summer Olympics in 2012, where she went on to win a Bronze medal. Nicknamed Magnificent Mary, the 39-year-old is also a Member of Parliament at the Rajya Sabha. Kom is also an animal rights activist, and supports the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and voices her opinion on various animal rights issues in the country. A Hindi Biopic film Mary Kom, starring Priyanka Chopra was released in 2014.Early LifeBorn in Kagathei village, Moirang Lamkhai in Churachandpur district of rural Manipur, India, Koms parents, Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom, worked in jhum fields and came from a humble background. During her childhood, Kom would often help her parents on the farm. She studied at the Loktak Christian Model High School at Moirang up to her sixth grade and shifted to St. Xavier Catholic School, Moirang, until the eighth grade. During her early schooling years, Kom showed a keen interest in athletics, more specifics javelin and running.Kom moved to Adimjati High School, Imphal, for her schooling for classes nine and ten. She was, however, unable to pass the matriculation exam and went on to give her examination from the National Institute of Open Schooling, Imphal and graduated from Churachandpur College in Manipur.Birth: Mary Kom was born on March 1, 1982, in Kangathei, a remote village in Manipur, India.Inspiration: Mary was inspired by the success of Dingko Singh, an Indian boxer who won a gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games.Difficult Childhood: She faced financial challenges growing up, but her father, who was a tenant farmer, encouraged her to pursue her interest in sports.StruggleKom saw a struggle with poverty from an early age, making it difficult to even follow the diet of a wrestler. Along with attending school in her early days, she would also look after her younger siblings and help her parents in the fields.When boxer Dingko Singh won the gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Kom, just like other youth in her village, was inspired to take up the sport as well. Her boxing career, however, did not come easy to Kom. While Koms father was a former boxer himself, he did not initially support her pursuing the sport. He believed she could injure her face and that boxing seemed like a lot more masculine sport. As a result, Kom would train in secret, trying hard to balance her duties in the house with boxing. It was only when Koms picture appeared in the newspaper on winning the state championship in 2000.Mary Kom, also known as 'Magnificent Mary,' is a renowned Indian boxer and a six-time world champion. Her journey to success has been marked by numerous struggles and challenges. Here are some of the key struggles she faced on her path to becoming a boxing legend:Gender Bias: One of the most significant challenges Mary Kom faced was gender bias. In India, as in many parts of the world, women's participation in sports, particularly combat sports like boxing, was not widely accepted. Mary Kom had to break societal norms and overcome the skepticism of her family and community to pursue her passion.Lack of Resources: In the early stages of her career, Mary Kom had limited access to proper training facilities and equipment. She trained in makeshift gyms with limited resources, including a lack of quality boxing gear and sparring partners.Financial Hardships: Mary Kom came from a humble background, and her family struggled financially. To pursue her boxing career, she often had to make do with very limited funds, which made it challenging to cover training and travel expenses for national and international competitions.Balancing Motherhood: Becoming a mother while maintaining a demanding career in sports is a challenge that Mary Kom had to face. Balancing her roles as a mother and a boxer was not easy, and she had to work hard to manage her time effectively.Inadequate Recognition: In the early 2000s, women's boxing in India did not receive the same recognition and support as men's boxing. Mary Kom, along with other female boxers, fought for equal opportunities, funding, and recognition in the sport.Overcoming Language Barriers: As an athlete from the northeastern state of Manipur, Mary Kom faced language barriers when she moved to the national capital, New Delhi, for training. She had to learn Hindi and English to communicate effectively in a predominantly Hindi-speaking country.Injury and Health Issues: Like many athletes, Mary Kom has faced injuries and health issues during her career. However, her determination and resilience helped her recover and continue to excel in the sport.1.Despite these struggles, Mary Kom's unwavering dedication, exceptional talent, and relentless pursuit of her dreams have made her a symbol of inspiration and empowerment for aspiring athletes, particularly women, in India and around the world. Her achievements in boxing have not only elevated her status as a sports icon but have also paved the way for the recognition and growth of women's boxing in India. Mary Kom's story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity.2.Mary Kom's Career Mary Kom's boxing career is studded with numerous achievements, including multiple world championship titles and an Olympic medal. Her dedication to the sport and her relentless pursuit of excellence have made her a household name in India.CareerAfter her state championship win in 2000, Kom proceeded to win gold in the Seventh East India Womens Boxing Championship held in West Bengal. There was no stopping Kom from then on. She went on to win a total of five National Championships from 2000 to 2005.Kom, however, decided to take a break from the sport after getting married in 2005, to have children and concentrate on family life. She made a powerful comeback in 2008 at the Asian Womens Boxing Championship in India where she won a silver medal and won a Gold at the AIBA Womens World Boxing Championship in China. The coming years saw the prolific sportswoman continue to grow her prowess in boxing and power through several medals and accolades in various international championships. He participated in various boxing events like the Asian Indoor Games, Asian Womens Boxing Championship, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.Boxing Debut: Mary Kom began her boxing career at the local Meitei Chanu Club in Manipur.Weight Categories: She competes in the flyweight (48-51 kg) category.International Debut: Mary made her international debut in 2000 at the first Women's World Boxing Championship, where she won a silver medal.Olympics: She has represented India in multiple Olympics, starting with the 2012 London Olympics. She won a bronze medal at the London Olympics, making her the first Indian female boxer to win an Olympic medal. She also participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics.World Championships: Mary Kom has won numerous gold medals at the AIBA World Boxing Championships, establishing herself as one of the most successful amateur boxers in the world.Commonwealth Games: She has won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, among other international competitions.Padma Bhushan: In recognition of her achievements, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian awards, in 2013.Family:Husband: Mary Kom is married to Karung Onkholer, and the couple has three sons and a daughter.Supportive Family: Her family has been incredibly supportive of her boxing career, and she often credits their encouragement as a significant factor in her success.Olympic JourneyIn 2012, Kom was set to compete for a place at the 2012 Olympics in London. This was also the first time womens boxing was added to the Olympic programme, making it a historic move for womens place in sports. Three womens weight classes were added to the programme as a result: (48-51kg), lightweight (56-60kg) and middleweight (69-75kg). This meant that Kom, who had been fighting in the 46-48 categories had to shift to the 51 kg category to compete. She became the only woman to have qualified to compete at the London Olympics that year.Kom, who at the time had already won five gold medals and a silver at the AIBA World Boxing Championship at that point, went on to make a power-packed debut at the Summer Olympics. On August 8, 2012, she became the first Indian woman boxer to win an Olympic medal, claiming bronze in the 51kg category, etching her name in history for women in sports.Kom also went on to recently compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics, where she fought her last match against the Rio Olympics bronze medalist Colombian boxer Ingrit Valencia.Medals and AccomplishmentsThroughout her career, the supermom has earned several medals and accomplishments through the sport of boxing in the international space. These include:1.Mary Kom is the first woman to have become a six times World Amateur Boxing Champion in boxing with first positions like 2002 Antalya, 2005 Podolsk, 2006 New Delhi, 2008 Ningbo City, 2010 Bridgetown and 2018 New Delhi World Championship events in her kitty2.She won a bronze at 2021 London Olympics, creating history for women boxers in India3.Kom is a four-time winner of the Asian Womens Championships held in 2003, 2005, 2010, and 20124.She won the Gold medal at the Asian Cup Womens Boxing Tournament in 2011 in the 48 kg category5.She also bagged the Gold medal in the flyweight 51 kg category at the Asian Games in 2014 along with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games of 2018 in the 48 kg category6.Kom became the first female boxer to have won six world titles at the AIBA Women's World Championship in 2018.7.The Government of India has so far bestowed upon her the Arjuna Award in 2003 the Padma Shri in 2006, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2009, as well as the Padma Bhushan Award in 2013 and Padma Vibhushan in 2020, both being two of the most prestigious civilian awards in the country.Why Mary Kom is an inspirationThroughout her career, Kom has been somewhat of a path-breaker with a career full of firsts in her kitty, making her an inspiration for numerous women across many different sports in India. Heres what makes her stand out.- Breaking BarriersHaving fought through poverty and many challenging circumstances, Kom has succeeded to fulfil her passion for boxing by breaking many social barriers and often fought through them with great conviction.- Standing against gender normsAt a time when society, along with her own family was against the idea of women becoming boxers, mainly due to the sports masculine perception, Kom was tough enough to not only rise from such gender norms but also push through them, reaching great heights.- Belief and FaithIt doesnt take much for one to give up when there are not one but many unsupportive situations. But with every challenge Kom was put through, the decorated boxer remained unabashed with her belief in herself and her skills.- Well-roundedIn a society where women are expected to give their careers up for their life with family, Kom has proved time and again that one can have it all without giving up on the other. The Olympic boxer is a proud mom of four!How can you be the next Mary KomHard WorkTheres no doubt that hard work played a huge role in Koms career as a successful boxer. Even with duties at home both before and after marriage, she continued to work hard at her training and the results are only impressive.PersistenceBe it coming back to the boxing ring post marriage and children, or standing tough against her parents' wishes, Kom always stayed persistent towards her goal, one of the most important things one needs to fulfil any dream.TrainingEven though Kom was considered a natural at the sport of boxing, she never gave up on training herself to become even better. She would often manage to train along with a lot of housework even when she was younger and lacked many resources, making her journey as a sportswoman stronger.Be it being awarded the Padma Vibhushan recently or the impressive number of medals Kom proudly holds, the Indian boxer has only stayed true to her passion in more ways than one. With various international championships like the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games drawing close, one can only await some more power-packed performances in the boxing ring from Mary Kom.Facts About Mary KomLearn fascinating facts about Mary Kom's life, including her family, early influences, and unique achievements in the world of boxing.Social Work by Mary Kom - The Mary Kom FoundationApart from her sporting career, Mary Kom is actively involved in social work through the Mary Kom Foundation, which focuses on empowering women and promoting sports among underprivileged youth.ConclusionIn conclusion, Mary Kom's life and career are a shining example of determination, resilience, and achievement. Hailing from a humble background in Manipur, India, she rose to become one of the most iconic and successful female boxers in the world. Her journey is a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and unwavering dedication to one's dreams.Mary Kom's accomplishments include six World Championships, an Olympic bronze medal, and numerous other international honors, solidifying her status as an Indian sporting legend. Beyond her athletic feats, she has also ventured into politics and serves as a Member of Parliament, representing the state of Manipur, and has received prestigious awards, such as the Padma Bhushan and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.Her journey is an inspiration not only to aspiring athletes but to individuals from all walks of life. Mary Kom's story demonstrates that no dream is too big and no obstacle is too challenging when one is driven by passion and a relentless pursuit of excellence.Mary Kom's legacy extends far beyond the boxing ring; she is a symbol of empowerment and resilience, and her life story will continue to inspire generations to come.FAQs1.How many Olympic medals has Mary Kom won?A-Mary Kom has won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.2.What is Mary Kom's boxing weight category?A-Mary Kom competes in the flyweight (48-51 kg) category in boxing.3.Is Mary Kom still actively competing in boxing?A-Yes, Mary Kom continues to actively compete in boxing and is a prominent figure in the sport.4.What is the Mary Kom Foundation's mission and work?A-The Mary Kom Foundation focuses on empowering women, especially in the North-Eastern region of India, and promoting sports among underprivileged youth through various initiatives.5.Who is Mary Kom?A-Mary Kom is a renowned Indian boxer and one of the most successful female boxers in the world.6.Where and when was Mary Kom born?A-Mary Kom was born on March 1, 1982, in Kangathei, a village in Manipur, India.7.What inspired Mary Kom to become a boxer?A- Mary Kom was inspired by the success of Indian boxer Dingko Singh, who won a gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games.8.How did Mary Kom start her boxing career?A-Mary Kom began her boxing career at the Meitei Chanu Club in Manipur.9.In which weight category does Mary Kom compete?A-Mary Kom competes in the flyweight category, which is typically 48-51 kilograms.10.What are some of Mary Kom's career achievements?A-Mary Kom is a six-time AIBA World Boxing Champion and an Olympic bronze medalist. She has also won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and numerous other international competitions.11.When did Mary Kom win her Olympic medal?A-Mary Kom won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the first Indian female boxer to win an Olympic medal.12.Has Mary Kom received any awards for her contributions to sports?A-Yes, Mary Kom has received several awards, including the Padma Bhushan, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and the Arjuna Award.13.What is Mary Kom's involvement in politics?A-Mary Kom is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, representing the state of Manipur.14.How many children does Mary Kom have, and what is her family background?A-Mary Kom is married to Karung Onkholer, and they have three sons and a daughter. Her family has been very supportive of her boxing career.