Mary Kom’s- journey of international boxing champion
An international boxing champion- Mary Kom, an aspiring figure inspiring the youth to conquer life like a boss, story is worth writing about. Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte was born in Kangathei, Manipur, 1983, to Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom, who used to work in jhum fields. Though her father himself an ex-boxing player never wished Mary to pursue the same career, maybe because of the fear that she is a girl and might get injured on her face and will never get married. And Mary on the other hand just day dream of being a boxer. After 8th standard, she applied for matriculation but never passed and never even bother to re appear. It was when the famous boxer from the same village in Manipur, Dingko Singh returned back from the Asian Games- Mary was greatly inspired. Dingko’s achievement inspired her to pursue a career in boxing and this will took Mary to follow his footsteps. In 2010, she began her training under M Narjit Singh, Manipur State Boxing Coach. She was a dedicated student and had a great will towards achieving her goals. She would often practice till late in the night even after the others had left. In school, Kom participated in all types of sports including volleyball, football and athletics. At first Mary hid about her boxing career from her parents but later her secret was revealed when her photo was published in a newspaper. Her parents initially were against her but soon after seeing her love for boxing started supporting her. She is best known for her five time World Amateur Boxing Championship. Her first career win came in 2000 when she won the Best Boxer Award at the First State Level Invitation at the women’s boxing championship in Manipur. A productive sportswoman who demonstrated a relentless passion for the game, she won a total of five National Championships from 2000 to 2005. In 2008 she won a silver at Asian Women Boxing Championship. She also won a gold medal at Asian Indoor Games held in Vietnam. A petite woman, she competed in the 51 kg class in the 2010 Asian Games and won a bronze medal. The same year she was decorated with the fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri. Again at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in Mongolia in 2012 Mary won the gold. Mary secured a bronze at 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Later, in 2013 she was again awarded with the third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan. In 2014 Asian Games, held in Incheon, South Korea, she won a Gold Medal in Flyweight category.
After securing a huge bundle of medals and trophies, her thirst for more didn’t vanished. She god married in 2005 with an ex-football player and left boxing for a while. After giving birth to a twins, Mary made her comeback to boxing. And won many titles. On 8 November 2017, she clinched an unprecedented fifth gold medal (48 kg) at the ASBC Asian Confederation women’s boxing championships held at Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. In 2018, she created history by becoming the first woman to win 6 World Championships, achieving this feat at the 10th AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Kom appeared on the final episode of the Super Fight League’s mixed martial arts reality show – SFL Challenger. On 29 March 2016 she pursued degreed in Honorary Doctorate from North-Eastern Hill University and DPhil from Kaziranga University in 2019.
Koms’ love life:
Mary met Karung Onkholer, an ex-football player, when she came to Delhi in 2000. Onkholer first saw her at the Nehru Stadium when she was practicing on the field. At that time Mary’s luggage and passport was stolen and Karung helped her out as he was the president from north east student body. Once he also invited her for a home cooked meal. And that’s how both of them fell in love. Four years later Kom and Onkholer was married in their hometown. In an interview Karung said that;
“We were friends for four years and then I thought we should get married. I knew her dreams and was ready to help her in every way.”
A former football player himself, was willing to keep his career side so that Mary can fulfill her dream. He helped her in any way possible especially after she became mother of two.
“If there’s any problem in the family, my husband never tells me about it. He says, ‘Don’t think about the children, don’t think about us. You just concentrate on your training’,” Said the boxing champ.
Onkholer’s love for her and her love for her dreams made an ordinary Mary kom, a world renowned boxer. Be it her love life or her career life, Mary proved that will to achieve our goals can actually make dreams come true, all one need is passion and dedication.