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Commonwealth Games 2018: Why Mary Kom's name was spelt 'Mery' Kom throughout the tournament

A typographical error or ignorance on our part?

ANALYST
News 14 Apr 2018, 11:34 IST
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Mery Ko
Mery Kom with her medal

M.C. Mery Kom won the Gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, beating her opponent Kristina O'Hara of Northern Ireland via unanimous decision. Mery Kom was making her Commonwealth Games debut at this year's games and did not disappoint as she bagged the top prize.

The veteran boxer has previously represented India in several international tournaments. Mery won the Bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012, an occasion which also marked her Olympics Debut. Mery Kom won five consecutive Gold medals in the Asian Women Boxing Championships, after a silver in 2001. She has also claimed the ultimate prize at the 2014 Asian Games and 2009 Asian Indoor Games.


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Mery Kom in action against Kristina O'Hara

However, eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed a peculiar thing as she entered the ring for her bouts. Throughout the tournament, her name was written as 'Mery' Kom instead of Mary Kom, a version we have all, including myself, used over the years. The reason for this peculiarity is quite simple -- this is the way she has written her name all her life. This exact name - 'Mery' Kom, is there on her passport also, according to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI).

Mery Kom
Mery Kom meeting up with the Indian contingent after her bout

So the unusualness here lies in the fact that everyone in the world knows her and writes her name as Mary Kom, a version that is actually incorrect. Is this ignorance on our part that we do not even know and use the correct name of a sportswoman who has achieved legendary status in her sport over the years? The heights of this disregard are such that Wikipedia, the world's no. 1 outlet for information, spells her name wrong as well. In fact, her social media handle also reads Mary Kom instead of Mery Kom.

This is something that is not a huge issue, however. This is something that hasn't even bothered Mery Kom throughout her career. All it shows is the disregard, however minute, with which we see our sportspersons.

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