New Delhi: Mary Kom, the six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist boxer, has refuted the rumors of her retirement from the sport. She said that some media reports had misquoted her and twisted her words. She clarified that she has not hung up her gloves yet and will announce her retirement herself when the time comes.
In a statement issued by PTI, Mary Kom said, “My friends in the media, I have not yet announced my retirement and my statement has been distorted. Whenever I have to announce my retirement, I will tell everyone myself. I have seen some media reports in which it was said that I have said goodbye to the game which is not correct.”
The 41-year-old boxer, who is also a former Rajya Sabha MP, said that she was attending a school program in Dibrugarh on January 24 where she was motivating the children. She said that she still has the passion and the desire to achieve more in the sport, but due to the age limit in the Olympics, she cannot compete in the mega event. However, she said that she can continue to box in other tournaments and her focus is on fitness.
Mary Kom, who belongs to the Kom tribal community in Manipur, is one of the most decorated and celebrated boxers in the world. She is the only woman to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships, and the only boxer (male or female) to win eight World Championship medals. She is also the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea and the first Indian female boxer to win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Mary Kom has also been honored with many national awards for her achievements and contributions to the sport. She was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award, in 2006. She was also conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honor of the country, in 2009. She received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, in 2013 and the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award, in 2020. She was also bestowed with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2009 and the Arjuna Award in 2003.
Mary Kom is also known for her philanthropic work and social activism. She runs the Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation in Manipur, where she trains underprivileged youngsters for free. She is also a national observer for boxing and a brand ambassador for various causes and campaigns. She is widely regarded as a role model and an inspiration for millions of people, especially women and girls, in India and across the world.