Olympic Boxer May Kom is celebrating her 35th birthday on Thursday. She is the only Indian woman boxer who managed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics where she also won a Bronze Medal.
Here are some interesting facts about the boxing icon:
# Born and brought up in Kangathei, Manipur, Mary Kom’s original name is Mangte Chungneijang which means “prosperous” in her local dialect.
# She is high school dropout and never had a flair for studies. Kom got inspired by athlete Dingko Singh and started her training with M. Narjit Singh (then Manipur State Boxing Coach) at KhumanLampak in Imphal.
# Mary Kom did not tell her parents before she started her training to become a boxer. Her father even tried to discourage her when he found out. In fact, everyone in her town tried to discourage her efforts by ridiculing her.
# She was determined and even after facing strong opposition from her family, she proved everyone wrong for the first time in 2000 when she was given the Best Boxer Award at the First State Level Invitation at the women’s boxing championships in Manipur.
# Mary Kom continued to dominate women’s boxing till 2006 after which she took a 2-year sabbatical due to the birth of her twins, however, she returned with a bang in 2008 and won her 4th successive World Championship.
# She is the only boxer to win a medal in every one of the six world championships.
# Considering all her achievements and overcoming of all the hurdles, Marry Kom was given the honour of bearing the Queen’s Baton in its opening ceremony run in the stadium for the 2010 Commonwealth Games of Delhi.
# In 2012, women’s boxing featured as an Olympic sport in the Summer Olympics in London for the first time. Mary did succeed in securing a place at the events and won a bronze medal. She won a Gold Medal in Flyweight category in 2014 Incheon Asian Games.