Olympics: Mary Kom loses match, wins hearts

MC Mary Kom may have lost to Britain’s Nicola Adams in the women's flyweight semi-finals at the London Olympics on Wednesday and with it her chance to win gold, but the Indian boxer has in the process won over millions of Indians.

Among her admirers are several celebrities, who took to Twitter to express their admiration for the 29-year-old pugilist’s efforts.

Congratulating Mary Kom, India’s batting maestro, Sachin Tendulkar wrote on the micro blogging site, “Mary Kom is an amazing woman. What an effort to win a medal for India. We all are extremely proud of you.”

May Kom
A disappointed Mary Kom with her coach following her match against Nicola Adams of Great Britain. Pic/AFP

Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, applauded Mary Kom for breaking the glass ceiling for women. He wrote, “Congrats to Mary Kom; She has broken the glass ceiling, she is queen of our hearts and today I salute her.

Cricketer Aakash Chopra said, “Even though you have to settle for a bronze, Mary Kom you'll always be our Golden Girl. A true champion.”

Sports Minister Ajay Maken wasn’t far behind in praising the five-time world champion. Commenting on Magnificent Mary’s move from the lighter 48 kg weight category to the heavier 51 kg division, the union minister wrote, “Mary Kom playing in a higher weight category, played well but lost to a taller/younger/stronger player! Olymp Bronze is also a big achievement.”

Echoing the minister’s views, fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar said, “Gutted 4 #MCMaryKom. Fighting at 10% more than her normal fighting weight was never going 2b easy. She is n will always b a Legend.”

Sports commentator Harsha Bhogle said, “Bravo Mary Kom! Nobody but you could have embraced the hurdles in your path and brought India a medal. Proud of you. Huge fan.” Talking about how the nation had become fixated by the boxer’s Olympic campaign, he wrote, “It's been a very long time since I have seen a nation so stirred by a simple woman extolling simple virtues.”

Gujurat Chief Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Congratulations to Mary Kom. She has not only won a bronze but also the hearts of a billion Indians! We are all proud of her.”

After the match, Mary Kom apologised for not being able to win a gold medal for India.

Mary Kom, Nicola Adams
Mary Kom (in red) and Britain's Nicola Adams hug after their semi-final match. Pic/AFP

Discussing this gesture, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar wrote, “Humility is another strength u have #MaryKom. Wish I could box like you. An apology 4 a bronze is a gold itself. A BIG Thank You from all of us.”

But VJ, actor and sports presenter Gaurav Kapur’s witty tweet encapsulated the importance of Mary Kom’s win for the country. He tweeted, “Girls, the next time a boy tries to harass u, take Mary Kom's name and knock his friggin teeth out.”

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