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From Manipur to Olympic Glory: The Inspiring Story of India's Greatest Boxer Mary Kom

Discover the inspiring journey of Mary Kom, from her humble beginnings in Manipur to becoming India's boxing legend and Olympic medalist. Explore her remarkable achievements.

Harsh Chopra
Last updated: 27.06.2024
India's Greatest Boxer Mary Kom

India has seen its fair share of very good boxers and a few of them have made India proud. The latest example is Nikhat Zareen who has become the best in the world. However the greatest ever boxer to come out of India is Mary Kom. The things she has done for boxing is truly unparalleled and coming from Manipur in the north east. She has won 13 Gold Medals for India in international competitions. She has also won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

Let’s look at the life and career of Mary Kom

Personal Life

Mary Kom came from a poor family where her parents were tenant farmers. Mary Kom handled the responsibilities of her household from a young age as she was helping in farming as well as Mary Kom was going to school and learning athletics and then she shifted her focus to boxing. Mary Kom is the eldest of three children. Mary Kom when she was young took a keen interest in athletics especially the Javelin Throw and the 400 Metres races. The success of Dingko Singh at the 1998 Asian Games inspired her to take up boxing. It was in 2000 that Mary Kom won her first championship when she won the State Boxing Championship.

Mary Kom with her twins and husband
Mary Kom with her twins and husband


Mary Kom was unstoppable as she won her first World Championship Gold Medal in 2002 in the Flyweight category. She was established as the best young boxer in the world. Then there was no stopping her as in 2005 , 2006, 2008 she won Gold Medals in the Pinweight category and in 2010 she won the Gold Medal in the light Flyweight category. She also won the Gold Medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. She won the Gold Medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the light Flyweight category. Her last World Championship Gold Medal was at the 2018 edition in New Delhi. She won in the Light Flyweight category. This is just the list of her Gold Medals.

Her biggest moment came in the 2012 London Olympics where she won the Bronze Medal. She had been boxing for 12 years and this medal changed everything for her and for women’s boxing in India. Mary Kom beat Maroua Rahali of Tunisia 15-6 In the Quarter Final to assure her of a Bronze Medal. She won the Silver Medal at the 2001 World Championship in Scranton and the Bronze Medal at the 2019 World Championship.

Mary Kom gave birth to twins in 2007 and immediately after that she started training again. The London Olympics in 2012 was the first time that women’s boxing was introduced in the Olympics. She was accompanied by her mother in London. She narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan. Her career is one of the most legendary in Indian sports and the legacy she will leave behind will be untouchable. Mary Kom was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha which is the Upper House of Parliament by the President of India from 25th April 2016 – 24th April 2022.

Honors and Achievements

Mary Kom in 2012 Olympics
Mary Kom in 2012 Olympics

  • Bronze Medal at the 2012 London Olympics

  • Six Time Gold Medalist at the AIBA Boxing World Championships

  • Gold Medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon

  • Gold Medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast

  • Mary Kom was awarded the second biggest civilian award Padma Vibhishan in 2020

  • Mary Kom was awarded the Padma Bhushan In 2013

  • She was awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2009

  • She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006

  • Mary Kom was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2003

  • She was the People of the Year in the Limca Book of Records 2007

  • The AIBA recognised her as “Magnificent Mary” in 2008

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