5 Minutes With Mary Kom
Cosmopolitan India|January 2021
Boxing heavyweight, Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, gets candid about life in and outside the ring, what she is bingewatching currently, and why she would love to have dinner with Jackie Chan.
Humra Afroz Khan
The first Indian woman pugilist to win an Olympic medal, the first boxer in the world to win eight medals at the World Championship, only the fourth sportsperson in the country to be given the Padma Vibhushan, besides numerous medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, among others...Mary Kom is hardly new to breaking records and making history in the sports arena. And her prowess doesn’t stop at the ring. The determined 37-year-old, mother-of three, has inspired many by how she has shattered stereotypes, rewritten rules, and lived life on her own terms. Here, the brand ambassador of PUMA India, talks to Cosmo about her journey to global fame, life at home, and more.

Cosmo: Tell us about your childhood. What were you like as a young girl?

Mary Kom: “I belong to a farmer’s family, and being the eldest child, I grew up with a lot of responsibilities. I don’t have too many memories of my childhood... All I remember is keeping my father company while he worked in the field during the day, and then playing with friends in the village playground in the evening. I was a helpful daughter, a protective sister, and an active, strong girl who was fearless and fun-loving.”

C: When it comes to boxing, how have things changed since you started out?

MK: “Things have changed drastically. Women’s boxing is now a recognised game at the Olympics—and that is huge! Also, it was once considered to be male-dominated, but now women’s boxing is among the most popular sports, and more people have started taking interest in it. When I had started out, I never thought it could be this way. Our vision was limited to just international competitions and job placements.

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