Athlete Spotlight: Mary Kom
Today, I'll shine a light on Mary Kom, as there is currently a docudrama out in limited release here in the states based on her life. I did have the opportunity to see the biopic, and as films go, Mary Kom has an unfortunate superficial and saccharine veneer to it - but it does give a cursory appreciation of major plotlines in her rise to the top: defying role expectations from her rural village upbringing, subsequent tension with her father, her interest in boxing, her struggle to get training, her career interruption via marriage and children, and her struggles with an indifferent and corrupt sports system. The real Mary is certainly an inspiration; she is the only female boxer to win a medal in all six of the 1st six AIBA Worlds, and she's only the third Indian woman to have an Olympic medal. And, that bronze in 2012 was extra special as it came in a higher weight division, as her normal class wasn't contested. Since, she's continued to fight for women's boxing growth since in a difficult place to do so, and apparently has aims for more success looking ahead to Rio. I, for one, am eager to see her go for more - and especially to see what the next generation of Indian boxers and sportswomen can do in the wake of her still-to-be finished legacy.
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Above: Athens' Kallimarmaro, the site of the 1896 Summer Olympics
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