As she prepares for an Olympic Gold, Mary Kom spares some time from her busy schedule for a conversation with Shubham Nag.
Although you have qualified for the Olympics, you lost in the quarterfinals of the World Championships. Does that impact your self confidence?
I am fully confident. That was an off day for me. I am practising well now. So, nothing to worry, I guess.
Who, according to you, are India’s best boxing bets for London 2012?
All of them. We collectively had a good qualifying campaign.
Of late, Manipur has witnessed a dearth of tribal sporting talent. Why so?
Since most of them come from extremely poor backgrounds, they aren’t exposed to the kind of sports infrastructure and facilities as the rest of the nation. Moreover, political tensions too haven’t eased a bit.
For someone like you who has always proved her doubters wrong, anything left to prove, going into the Olympics?
Nothing to prove. I just want to get an Olympic medal for the country which is every sportsman’s dream. I want to repay the fans for all their support and expectations of me.
How are you preparing yourself to break a few jaws in the Olympics?
I am watching my opponents very minutely since the qualifying campaign. I am watching their fight videos and discussing tactics with my mentors. That is how I learn and prepare.
Who, do you think, is the greatest ever women athlete from India?
Saina Nehwal. Her achievements on court speak for her. She is an asset to this nation.
What prompted you to come up with the MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy?
It’s a future investment. After retirement, the academy will be of core concern for me. As an Olympian, it’s my responsibility to teach the proper techniques and offer proper advice to the budding boxers from my region.
So, any retirement plans anytime soon?
I can’t really say now. Once I am done with the Olympics, I might give it a thought. But it’s not playing in my mind, as of now.
What is Mary Kom besides being a boxer?
Mary Kom can do anything. She can sing, dance, do household chores, do anything under the sun.
Finally, would you like your children to follow your footsteps?