“I don’t have the words to express my happiness"
Indian boxer Mary Kom will be a flagbearer for India at the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony.
The Olympics will take place from Friday, July 23, 2021, to Sunday, August 8, 2021.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed that Kom will be a flagbearer for the Indian contingent on Monday, July 5, 2021.
She will bear the flag at the Opening Ceremony alongside men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh.
Wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony of the Games.
Speaking about her newest role in the Olympics, Mary Kom said she is happy to have the opportunity to be a flagbearer.
She also said that she will give the Games everything she has.
Mary Kom told ANI:
“I am very happy about being given this opportunity to be the flagbearer.
“I want to thank each and everyone, SAI, IOA, Sports Ministry, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It’s not easy for everyone to be given this opportunity.
“I don’t have the words to express my happiness because this will be my last Olympics and being the flagbearer, it’s a really big thing.
“Yes, expectations give pressure it’s not easy to tackle it but how to handle that pressure, I have learnt.”
Speaking further about the pressures of competing at such a high level of sport, Mary Kom said:
“I will try and handle the pressure. It’s really important to perform well.
“I am working really hard and focusing on every aspect. I will try to do my best at the Games.”
Mary Kom won flyweight bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and she will retire from the Games after Tokyo.
As a six-time women’s World Amateur Boxing champion and now India’s flagbearer, she is sure to go out with a bang.
Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh will hold India’s flag high at the Tokyo Olympics, their joint role breaking an age-old tradition.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently changed the rules to send a message of gender parity.
Manpreet Singh is just as excited to bear India’s flag alongside Mary Kom. Speaking of his partner, the hockey captain said:
“I think it’s a huge honour to be named the flagbearer for the opening ceremony alongside the incredible Mary Kom.
“I have always been inspired by her journey in boxing and personally for me, this is a big moment in my career, and it is also a huge moment for hockey.”
India is sending a strong team to Tokyo, comprised of 126 athletes and 75 officials.
It is hoped that the entire delegation will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before their arrival at the Olympics.