Born into a modest family in the north-east of India, a country in which it can be difficult being a woman,
Mary Kom successfully established herself in a largely male sport, boxing.
Kom subsequently obtained the support of her family, but she regularly encountered misogyny and sexism within her sport’s governing bodies.
She did not give up. Her career development and record of achievements bear testament to her exceptional strength of character.
Her list of achievements reads as follows:
- Silver medallist at the World Championships in 2001 in the USA, when she was 18;
- Gold medallist at the World Championships the following year;
- Gold medallist at the seventh East India Women’s Boxing Championship;
- Five-time medallist at the Indian Championships between 2000 and 2005;
- Gold medallist in 2016 at the Venus Women’s Box Cup;
- Silver medallist in 2008 at the Asian Championships in India;
- Gold medallist in 2009 at the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam;
- Five-time amateur boxing world champion, in the pinweight category in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008 and the light flyweight in 2010.
- When women’s boxing finally made its debut at the Olympic Games in 2012 in London, Kom won the bronze medal.