Today is Mary Kom’s birthday, and the boxer’s story is extremely inspiring for people from all walks of life. She didn’t just fight in the ring, but in life too, so that she could fulfill her dreams. Mary Kom is an Olympic Bronze medalist, and a five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion. But you already knew about that, didn’t you? Here are five things you probably didn’t know.
She is a Rajya Sabha MP
“It was a great honour to be nominated for Rajya Sabha. It was a sudden development and I was surprised. When I was told that I would be nominated for the Rajya Sabha, I started thinking what would I do as an MP,” Mary Kom told reporters at an event.
She dropped out of school
Even though she did graduate from college eventually, she once dropped out of school because she wanted to devote herself to boxing.
Her family opposed her boxing dreams
Well, you can’t blame them, considering the state of sports in India isn’t that good or lucrative. Still, Mary Kom was made of inner steel and she persevered on merit and winning titles.
She has her own Boxing Academy
After all the success that she has had, Mary Kom is giving back by starting her own academy called Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation. “This Boxing academy is a reality of my dream of creating a centre of excellence to produce the best boxing champions for India, that inspired me to set it up. It has also given me a platform of realising my vision to take Indian Boxing to glorious heights. Since I have been associated with this sport at various levels of struggle to the highest level of being an Olympic medalist, I was sure that I need to initiate a positive step and action to contributing towards creating a conducive support system and nurture India’s next generation of champions, especially from the underprivileged sections of North East India, which is how the dream was born in my mind,” Mary Kom writes on the boxing academy’s website.
She was inspired by Dingko Singh’s victory
Probably, if Dingko Singh (a Padma Shri awardee also from Manipur) hadn’t won the gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games, we wouldn’t have seen Mary Kom the boxer.
Featured image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Screengrab