- MC Mary Kom will become first women athlete to receive the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honour.
- PV Sindhu will be conferred with the Padma Bhushan, the government announced on the eve of the 71st Republic day.
- Kom, however, aims to become only the second athlete to win the Bharat Ratna, by qualifying and bringing a gold medal from Tokyo. .
Olympic medal-winning boxer MC Mary Kom will become first women athlete to receive the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honour. Olympic shuttler and current World Champion PV Sindhu will be conferred with the Padma Bhushan, the government announced on the eve of the 71st Republic day.
Dear Mary Kom @MangteC , Hearty Congratulations on being conferred with the most prestigious Padma Vibhushan! What you have achieved for India in sports is beyond any words! You won 8 World Boxing Championship medals and an Olympic medal! Whole of India is proud of you. pic.twitter.com/2hZjOcV3RG
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) January 25, 2020
Mary Kom, who also is a member of the Rajya Sabha, holds the world record of winning world champions on six occasions. She also won a bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and was conferred with Padma Shri in 2006 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013. Kom joins seven other personalities to win the Padma Vibhushan in 2020.
Mary Kom is now the only fourth athlete to receive the Padma Vibhushan. Chess legend Vishwanathan Anand, mountaineer Edmund Hillary and the God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar have been bestowed with the award earlier. Sachin then went onto receive the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest Civilian honour in 2014. He remains the only athlete to achieve the feat.
This has been a great beginning for this year, to receive one of the greatest honours of the country Padma Bhushan.
It shows the commitment of the Govt of India towards sports to inspire more people to excel in this field.I take this opportunity(1/3) pic.twitter.com/FoXfqwrgwl
— Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) January 26, 2020
PV Sindhu was among the 16 persons who will also be receiving the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award. Sindhu is the only Indian shuttler to hold the world champion title in badminton. She also won the silver medal at Rio Olympics, 2016 and has 4 other world championship medals. Sindhu has received the Padma Shri in 2015.
Former cricketer Zaheer Khan; current Indian hockey women’s team captain Rani Rampal; former men hockey captain MP Ganesh; Former Indian Women’s football captain Oinam Bembeb Devi; Shooter Jitu Rai and archer Tarundeep Rai are the athletes featuring among 118 Padma Shri winners.
Bigger Dreams for MC Mary Kom
Speaking after, Mary Kom said to reporters that she also hopes to win the Bharat Ratna by winning gold in Tokyo 2020. “It is a dream to win the Bharat Ratna. With this award, I will now be inspired to do even better with the thought that I can win the Bharat Ratna,” she says.
Mary Kom adds that she wants to follow in the footsteps of Sachin and become only the second athlete to win India’s highest civilian award. “Sachin Tendulkar is the only sportsperson to have won it and I hope to become the second one and the first woman. I want to emulate Tendulkar and I get inspiration from him.”
However, Kom believes her immediate goal needs to qualify for the Olympics first. “My immediate target is to first qualify for Olympics and then I will think about the colour of the medal.”
“If I qualify and win a gold in Tokyo I hope to get the Bharat Ratna, “she said. Receiving the Bharat Ratna will be the pinnacle of achievements and recognition not only for a sportsperson but for any Indian, she adds.