MC Mary Kom showed her incredible longevity once again in 2018 as she became the only woman to win six world boxing championship gold medals, in the 16th year of her career.
In this period, she also became the first Indian woman boxer to win an Olympic medal, a mother to three children and a member of the Rajya Sabha, with a decent attendance record.
Her year started with a gold at the India Open and ended with a gold at the world championships, which were only two of the four gold medals she picked up in all, including the Commonwealth Games, along with a silver at a prestigious European tournament in Bulgaria.
And the 35-year-old has no plans of stopping soon, as she is targeting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. For a chance to go to Tokyo, the Manipuri would have to compete in 51 kg, instead of her preferred 48-kg category.
“Still, I have a dream,” she told Scroll.in in a video interview. “I am still hungry that my career is not at an end, yet. So I still continue for the next two years. Maybe after that, I will retire.”
The mother of three also spoke about the how she discovered boxing, leaving behind her young kids to train and the remarkable story behind her name, “Mary”.
One of the most striking parts was when Mary Kom spoke about how taking up boxing didn’t seem that daunting growing up in an impoverished family doing chores that were meant for boys.
“Actually, my parents, they asked me to do chores that boys generally did. I am the eldest and whatever my father is doing, working in the field, I have to help him out, you know. Help whatever I can. It was different, like, being a girl. Most of the girls in the village they are don’t do outside chores at all. They are at home, they help out their mom and the sisters in their families. But for me is, actually, I help them both. My father when he was in the field and my mom at home,” she said.
“So I used to do everything. So that is an experience for me. Labour is very hard also. In my future, that helped me a lot. Boxing also is a very hard game, you know,” she added.
Given how ‘Magnificent Mary’ made her name from Manipur to the boxing royalty, no mountain is too high for her.. even changing her weight category and training for another shot at Olympic glory.
Watch the full interview here: