1 March : Olympic Indian Boxer Mary Kom Birthday
Our team wishing Mary Kom good health, luck and success in bringing back more medals, to add to her achievements. All the best!
Mary Kom, the name as many may confuse the boxer with the name of the bollywood film based on her life.
Interesting facts about this heroic & inspirational Magnificent Mary.
Mary Kom is an Olympic Indian boxer hailing from the Kom-Kuki tribe in Manipur.
Name: Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom.
D.O.B: 1 March 1983 in Kangathei, Manipur, India
Family: Parents:Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom.
Height 1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)
Spouse(s) Karung Onkholer Kom
Residence Imphal, Manipur, India
Nickname(s) Magnificent Mary
Her parents christened her Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom when she was born 31 years ago (1983) in Kangathei, Manipur. They earned a meagre living by working in jhum fields (slash and burn cultivation).
Kom was born in Kangathei village, Moirang Lamkhai in Churachandpur district of rural Manipur in eastern India. She came from a poor family. Her parents, Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom were tenant. Kom’s father was a keen wrestler in his younger days. She was the eldest of three children – she has a younger sister and brother.
She won her first silver medal at her debut tournament, in the 46kg weight category, at Pennsylvania, USA. The following year, she went on to win a gold medal at the second AIBA World Women’s Senior Boxing champion ship in Turkey.
Kom studied at the Loktak Christian odel High School at Moirang up to her sixth standard and thereafter attended St. Xavier Catholic School, Moirang, up to class VIII.
After standard VIII, Kom moved to Adimjati High School, Imphal, for her schooling for class IX and X, but was unable to pass the matriculation exam. Not wishing to reappear for them, she quit her school and gave her examination from NIOS, Imphal and graduation from Churachandpur College.
Return to boxing,after her marriage, Kom took a short hiatus from boxing. After she and Ongler had their first two children, Kom again started training.
On 1 October 2014, she won her first Gold Medal at the Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea by beating Kazakhstan’s Zhaina Shekerbekova in the flyweight (51 kg) summit clash.
Kom, who had previously fought in the 46 and 48 kg categories, shifted to the 51 kg category after the world body decided to allow women’s boxing in only three weight categories eliminating the lower weight classes.
Kom is married to the footballer Karung Onkholer (Onler). Kom first met her husband in 2000 after her luggage was stolen while travelling by train to Bangalore and thereafter to Delhi for a sports meet. In New Delhi while on her way to the National Games in Punjab she met Onkholer who was studying law at Delhi University. Onkholer was the president of the North East students body and helped Kom. Thus they became friends and thereafter started dating each other. After four years they were married in 2005.
At the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship, Kom was competing not just for the championship itself but also for a place at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the first time women’s boxing had featured as an Olympic sport. She was defeated in the 51 kg quarter-finals by Nicola Adams of the UK, but did succeed in getting a place for the Olympics. She was the only Indian woman to qualify for boxing event, with Laishram Sarita Devi narrowly missing a place in the 60 kg class.
Year Place Weight Competition Location
Achievements – International titles
2001 Second 48 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
2002 First 45 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships Antalya, Turkey
2002 First 45 Witch Cup Pécs, Hungary
2003 First 46 Asian Women’s Championships Hisar, India
2004 First 41 Women’s World Cup Tønsberg, Norway
2005 First 46 Asian Women’s Championships Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2005 First 46 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships Podolsk, Russia
2006 First 46 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships New Delhi, India
2006 First 46 Venus Women’s Box Cup Vejle, Denmark
2008 First 46 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships Ningbo, China
2008 Second 46 Asian Women’s Championships Guwahati, India
2009 First 46 Asian Indoor Games Hanoi, Vietnam
2010 First 48 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships Bridgetown, Barbados
2010 First 46 Asian Women’s Championships Astana, Kazakhstan
2010 Third 51 Asian Games Guangzhou, China
2011 First 48 Asian Women’s Cup Haikou, China
2012 First 41 Asian Women’s Championships Ulan Bator, Mongolia
2012 Third 51 Summer Olympics London, United Kingdom
2014 First 51 Asian Games Incheon, South Korea
Her autobiography, Unbreakable, was co-authored by Dina Serto and published by Harper Collins in late 2013.
In 2014, Priyanka Chopra played the main role of Mary Kom in Mary Kom, a biographical film about her life.
Although the mother tongue of Mary is Kom, a Sino-Tibetan dialect, the movie features Meithei, another Sino-Tibetan language which is the lingua franca in the Manipur mountains.
Together they have 3 sons: twins Rechungvar and Khupneivar (born in 2007) and son Prince (born in May 2013).
Kom is an animal rights activist, and supporter of PETA India & Kom has also backed PETA India’s humane education campaign.
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 is the only Indian female boxer to have been included in the 2012 Summer Olympics, after qualifying for the 2012 AIBA world Women’s Boxing Championship.
She is an active member of the Sports Authority of India and is also the founder of the MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy in Manipur.
She may be barely 5’2” (& weighs just 51 kgs) but in India and especially in her Manipuri tribal community, Mary Kom stands tall! Mary was coached by Narjit Singh and Charles Atkinson.
Her favourite cuisine is Manipuri and she loves the mashed fish dish nga atoiba thongba. She’s a Chinese food freak and loves to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen.
Obsessed with Jackie Chan, Mary is an action-movie junkie! She loves watching films, but between her practice sessions, three children, home and championships she finds little time for films! She also enjoys music and strumming on the guitar!
>Believe it or not, she took boxing seriously only after graduation. It’s Dingko Singh’s winning gold medal in 1997 Asian Games that became a life-changing inspiration for Mary Kom.
>Surprise again! This internationally recognized boxer could afford to start with proper training from her idol, Dingko Singh after he won at 1988 Asian Games.
>This wonder-woman made her debut in 2001 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championship in Pennsylvania, USA and won a silver medal. In 2002, she achieved goal in the same AIBA championship in Antalya, Turkey.
>She made it a habit to win gold medals at the AIBA championship in senior boxing. Till now, she has been the proud winner of 5 gold medals. In 2008, it’s this brilliant performance and consistency that earned her the prestigious title of ‘Magnificent Mary’
MARY KOM HAS ACHIEVED GOVT. RECOGNITIONS
For her outstanding achievements and an inspiring life, Mary Kom has received a lot of govt. accolades. From Arjuna Award to Padma Shree, from Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to having a road named after her, her bag is full of recognitions and awards.
Her first medal came at her debut tournament in the 46k weight category in Pennsylvania, USA. She got her first gold medal second AIBA World Women’s Senior Boxing championship in Turkey.
To encourage and help thousands of Mary Koms in achieving their dreams in boxing, this real life fighter has founded her own MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy in her home state. And to make sure that poverty should not come between an aspiring boxer and her dreams, she has been giving free training to numerous underprivileged girls since 2007.
So, never stop dreaming under any circumstances. Only you can change your fate.
- INDIA 121 BY NIRMAL MUTHA