Boxing giant MC Mary Kom at Olympics bowed out of the ring after a split-second decision declared rival Ingrit Valencia from Colombia winner on Thursday.
The six-time world champion made her exit from the games in Tokyo, but not without expressing genuine shock at her defeat. An unbelievable one for her, perhaps in due self-awareness of her status as the country’s crowning jewel in boxing counted among legends.
Results of the game this week however did not dampen the spirit of the nation that rallied behind Kom for the years of sweat, skill and hope she has invested in the sport over which she reigns. Magnificent Mary is what she is called – a title she fulfils to the t every time she steps into the boxing ring.
Why Defeat For Mary Kom At Olympics Doesn’t Taint Her Status As A True Champ
For all the pioneering gateways into gold victories she has opened for India in boxing, the 38-year-old has come forth in the last two decades as an abiding champion with the hopes and aspirations of an entire country pinned on her dependable shoulders.
She is a woman of historic firsts – the only woman to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times over, the first woman boxer to clinch gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, as also the only boxer ever with eight World Championship medals. More on her wins here.
“I can box even in my dreams,” Kom told SheThePeople in an interview last year. “As a boxer, you can’t always be offensive or defensive. In life too, one needs to have that maturity and understanding, when to go fast, slow down and take a step backward.”
The Manipuri athlete is a mother of four who look up to her, but entire generations of children and youth across India are drawing inspiration from her sporting skill and persistence. For young girls, especially, Kom stands tall as an icon symbolising no dream is too big and no gender inferior.
Along with other young greats from India’s north-east region – like Mirabai Chanu in weightlifting, Lovlina Borgohain in boxing, and Likmabam Sushila in judo – veteran Kom is bringing down old standards of stereotypes by setting up new ones of empowerment.