Five time world champion MC Mary Kom participated in her very first Olympics and made the entire nation proud by winning the bronze medal. She is no doubt one of the living legends in the country. She speaks to Gaurav Jha of Indian Sports News about how important was it for her to win the medal, how is she gearing up for the future, the people back home and much more. Excerpts:
ISN: You have finally achieved what you always wanted, how do you feel now?
Mary Kom: It feels great to have won an Olympic medal. I always said that I want to win an Olympic medal before I retire and I feel very relieved and very happy that I have done that. I have been in boxing from the past 11-12 years and the dream has finally come true. The whole nation is giving me their blessing and I am very proud.
ISN: You have won world championship five times, how different is an Olympic medal?
Mary Kom: Winning World Championships were amazing, but the feeling of winning an Olympic medal is out of this world. The whole world watches Olympics. This was the first time female boxing was introduced in Olympics and to be the first Indian woman boxer to win a medal is incomparable.
ISN: Are you satisfied with your performance at London?
Mary Kom: I am happy to win a medal. I am the first Indian women to have won an Olympic medal and I am proud of that fact. But to tell you the truth, I am not satisfied with my performance. I always wanted to win the gold medal and I tried my hundred percent. I will definitely try to change the colour of the medal to gold in Rio.
ISN: Tell us about the semi-final bout?
Mary Kom: Even I do not know what happened in the semi-finals. I was confident going into the match. I think it was not my day. It is very difficult to explain what happened.
ISN: A lot of prizes are coming your way after your triumph, what do you have to say about that?
Mary Kom: I am happy that people are supporting me. Government has helped me a lot and supported me whenever I required any help. The prizes that I am getting now will inspire the new generation. The youngsters will get inspired and will look to do what I did. If there are incentives than it will definitely help the coming generation.
ISN: There were a lot of controversies that surrounded the Indian men’s team, what’s your take on that?
Mary Kom: I was very surprised with some of the decisions. I have been playing for so long, but I have never seen the kind of things that happened in London Olympics. It was very unfortunate to see this kind of decision-making in the biggest sporting event of them all. I don’t have a diploma in refereeing and even I can see the things that took place. It is very demoralizing for any boxer to see that.
ISN: How are the things back in Manipur?
Mary Kom: There is still a couple of days that I am here and only then will I be able to go back home. My family is delighted and I am eager to meet the people who have supported me from my starting days. A lot of functions have been arranged for me and I am going to attend all of them as I don’t wasn’t to disappoint any of my well-wisher.
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