Mary Kom, Manpreet Singh are flag bearers at the Tokyo Olympics4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
The Olympics, which had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic, is almost around the corner! With preparations in full swing for the massive event, which will be held from July 23 to August 8, an interesting announcement has come our way. We will be seeing some very prominent faces carrying the Indian flag at the opening ceremony!
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has announced that six-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom and men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be representing India at the Olympics. The two sports stars will carry the Indian flag at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
Let’s learn a little about these personalities…
- Mary Kom is an Indian boxer, and now politician, from Manipur.
- She is the only female to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships, and the only boxer (male or female) to win eight World Championship medals
- Nicknamed Magnificent Mary, she is the only Indian female boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- She had also been ranked as the world’s No. 1 female light-flyweight by the International Boxing Association (amateur)
- She became the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014 at Incheon, South Korea and is the first Indian female boxer to win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
- On 25 April 2016, the President of India nominated Kom as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.
- She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award, in 2020.
- Manpreet Singh Sandhu is an Indian field hockey player and the captain of India men’s national field hockey team since May 2017.
- He first played for India in 2011 at the age of 19. He represented India at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was named Asia’s Junior Player of the Year in 2014. He was named in the Indian squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
- Being a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, he too wears a jersey with the number 7.
- On 18 May 2017, he was promoted to captain India’s hockey team for the three Nations Invitational Tournament in Germany.
IOA also revealed that wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games on August 8.
Owliver’s Obscure Observations
The total Indian contingent for the Olympics would be around 126 athletes and 75 officials. The contingent will compete in about 85 medal positions.
Before you go, we have a little quiz to check how much you know about the Olympics. And if you don’t, try it anyway to learn some really interesting facts!
Sources: Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Britannica
Photos: : Economic Times (agencies), DTNext, Giphy