OG

Mary KOM

A trailblazer against all odds
Women’s boxing at the Olympic Games  
MARY KOM IND BOXING 1983-

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.
Initially, she hid the fact that she had taken up boxing from her father, a former wrestler, who was against the idea – he was afraid that she might suffer damage to her face and jeopardise her chances of getting married.

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; 
and 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.

Kom’s reach has also extended into wider society:
In 2013, her autobiography, Unbreakable, was published;
in 2014, a biopic about her life,  Mary Kom, was released;
in 2016, she was appointed to the upper house of the Indian Parliament. 

Kom has also fought to improve education, with a focus on her ethnic group, and to put an end to the use of elephants in circuses. She founded and leads the Mary Kom-SAI Boxing Academy, which supports boxers from disadvantaged areas. 

Her career path is similar to that of Sarah Ourahmoune, the French boxer who won the silver medal at Rio 2016. 

One

Two

Three…ready! 

Fighting

Again

And again 

The art of being able to take punches

Emerging victorious

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Photo credits

Towards greater Equality

Home page
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1896 - 1936

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1976 - 2004

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Annie Sugier
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2004 – 2019

Charlotte Girard
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Lindsey Van
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Mary Kom
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Towards greater Respect

1896 - 1936

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The Ohio State University

Jack Johnson
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Wikimedia Creative Commons / United States Library of Congress (domaine public)

Alfonso Brown
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1936 - 1976

Mohammed Ali
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1976 - 2004

Alwyn Morris
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Cathy Freeman
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Martina Navratilova
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Nelson Mandela
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International Olympic Committee (IOC) 

2004 – 2019

Rohullah Nikpai
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International Olympic Committee (IOC) 

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Colin Kaepernick
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Barack Obama
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