An epitome of strength, beauty and confidence, Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, popularly known as Mary Kom is an Indian boxer holding a five time world boxing championship. Born in Manipur, India, Mary Kom was interested in athletics since she was a child but what came as an inspiration to her was the success of boxer Dingko Singh. She then started training under M. Narjit Singh who was the Manipur State Boxing Coach at Imphal. Also known as “Magnificent Mary”, she is not only the only woman qualifying in the 2012 Summer Olympics but also the only woman boxer to win a medal in each one of the six world championships.
Her list of medals include winning the 2008 “Asian Women’s Boxing Championship” in India, four successive gold medals at the “AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship” in China, a gold medal at the 2009 “Asian Indoor Games” at Vietnam, gold medal at the “Asian Women’s Boxing Championship” in Kazakhstan, gold medal at “AIBA Women’s World Championship” in Barbados where she consecutively won her fifth gold medal, bronze medal in the 2010 Asian games in the 51 kg class, gold in the 48 kg class at the Asian Women’s Cup in China in 2011. After winning several medals in 46 kg and 48 kg categories, Mary Kom was forced to gain weight because the lowest weight category was changed to 51 kg. She then won a gold medal in the 51 kg class at the “Asian Women’s Boxing Championship” in Mongolia in 2012. She was also honoured to bear the Queen’s Baton along with ace boxer Vijendar Singh in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. When in 2012 women’s boxing appeared for the first time as an Olympic Sport, at Summer Olympics in London, Mary Kom made it to the semi- finals where she was defeated by Nikola Adams of United Kingdom. She was the only Indian woman to qualify for the boxing event in the Olympics. Kom is the brand ambassador of Super Fight League in India and she also appeared in the final episode of its mixed martial arts reality show.
Mary Kom won the Arjuna Award for the boxing category in 2003, Padma Shree in the sports category in 2006, Padma Bhushan sports category award in 2013, Pepsi MTV Youth Icon Award in 2008, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2009, Sahara Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year, People of the Year by the Limca Book of Records in 2007 among others. A biopic based on the life of Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra as Kom will be releasing in worldwide in 2014.Kom released he autobiography “Unbreakable” in December 2013 unveiled by megastar Amitabh Bachchan. Kom said that she wanted to women to know that if she can achieve what she already has despite the hardships she came across, anyone else can do the same. Mary Kom is an Inspiration for millions of Indian women who think that they are second rate men. If a woman can opt for a profession like boxing, which is perceived to be reserved for men, especially in an orthodox Indian society, she can possibly do anything that men does.