Sunday was not just any other day for Mary Kom, the famed Indian boxer and mother of two. Not only did she mark her Olympics debut by beating Poland's Karolina Michalczuk to progress to the quarter-finals of the women's flyweight category (51 kg), the 29-year-old Manipuri also gave her twin sons Rechungvar and Khupneivarand a very special birthday present.
To watch their mother on TV at the Olympics would have been a special moment for the twins, who turned five on Sunday. Earlier, Khupneivarand suffered from a hole in the heart but surgery in May 2011, when he was three-and-a-half years old, was successful and now he is in healthy shape.
What made the victory special was that Mary's parents were in attendance at the boxing arena in London. That must have lifted the champion boxer's spirits manifold.
The whole country was praying for this win and Mary Kom showed great grit and character to outlast her Polish opponent, who had a distinct height and reach advantage. Once again, Mary Kom proved that she remains a cut above the rest.
Apart from winning five consecutive world titles, the Indian has four Asian gold medals and 11 national titles under her belt. She is also a recipient of the Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna awards. Mary Kom, who was made the face of the International Boxing Federation's campaign to get women's boxing included in the Olympics, needs to win Monday's bout against Tunisia's Maroua Rahili to be assured of a medal.