We all evolve from our hardships, says Mary Kom at Goafest 2019

The Olympic boxer shares her story of struggles and how she beat the odds

by Anam Khan
Published - Apr 13, 2019 2:57 PM Updated: Apr 13, 2019 2:57 PM
Mary Kom

A lot of interesting stories have been shared at the 14th edition of Goa fest and Day 3 saw Olympic boxer Mary Kom inspire the audience during her interaction with sports journalist Boria Majumdar.

Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte better known as Mary Kom from Manipur is the only woman to become a World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times. She is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the seven world championships. 

“During my early days of boxing, I had to struggle a lot. I walked miles to practice. Coming from the north-eastern part of the country, where facilities are almost nil, I faced many problems. My family at that time did not support me and so I kept my dream of becoming a boxer confined to myself,” Mary said. 

“When I started, boxing was not given much hype in the country, forget about the international scene. As a player, I have survived a lot of difficulties and struggles. As a states and national-level player, I used to travel in sleeper class with no other facilities. But that’s okay. We all evolve from our hardships and by our hard work.”

Sharing a funny incident with the audience, Mary narrated a story about how her father came to know about her passion for boxing and the new name she had given herself.

“One fine morning, my father saw my photo in the newspaper which obviously came as a shock for him but what even more surprised him was my new name which I had given to myself because nobody could pronounce my original name properly when I would go for practice. My father got into the argument with the newspaper man when he congratulated my father about my victory at states-level championship. That’s when my father looked at my name and said “that’s not my daughter”. He was finally relieved when he saw my original name mentioned in the last,” she said. 

Speaking about her personal life and life with her kids, Mary shared an emotional incident about how her husband supported her and turned around the proverb “There’s always a woman behind a successful man”. Mary said, “My husband has been there with me through thick and thin. It was during one of my championships that I got to know my son wasn’t keeping well. I decided to give up to start taking care of my son because at that moment I thought as a mother who was on the verge of an emotional trauma. My husband always stood beside me and pushed me to pursue my dreams. And he always took care of my kids.”

Concluding her session on how she was going to prepare for the Japan Championship 2020, Mary added, “These are my crucial years as we have a selection period in October and November. I have to make the most of my time in practising and knocking out the rival team. My only aim was to bring pride to our nation and I’ll keep doing it.”

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