The first woman sportsperson to be decorated with the Padma Vibhushan, celebrated boxer MC Mary Kom on Sunday said she hopes to win the Bharat Ratna by winning a gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
“It is a dream to win the Bharat Ratna. With this award (Padma Vibhushan) I will now be inspired to do even better with the thought that I can win the Bharat Ratna,” Mary Kom, a six-time world champion, told reporters here.
“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.”
The 36-year-old Mary Kom, however, said her immediate target is to first qualify for the Olympics and then she would think about the “colour of the medal“.
“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. To be honoured with Bharat Ratna will be the pinnacle of achievement and recognition for not only a sportsperson but also for any Indian,” she said.
Bharat Ratna is the country’s highest civilian award.
An emotional Mary Kom, who was named for Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award on Saturday, added: “I am proud to be an Indian and I thank God for making me an Indian. Each time I go out to fight for the country, I feel something inside me and that motivates me to bring glory to the country. The kind of love the people of this country have given me, I want to give back with my performance.”
“It is an emotional and touching moment for me to have won the country’s second-highest award. And that came when the country is celebrating Republic Day. I will never forget this day. I thank the sports minister for recommending me and also thank the Prime Minister for his support.”