Mary Kom retires from Olympics in Paris as India’s Chef de Mission because of ‘problems that have crippled me partly’

On Friday, Mary Kom announced her resignation as the contingent’s Chef de Mission of India, citing “problems” that had “partly crippled” her. Weeks have passed since the boxing icon was selected for the position by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

“It is embarrassing for me to retreat from a pronounced commitment, which I seldom do, but I am left with no choice,” the London Olympics bronze medallist wrote in a letter to IOA President PT Usha, the Union Sports Ministry, and the Sports Authority of India.

For the July 26–27 Paris Olympics, the IOA announced contingent officials on March 21. Shiva Keshavan, a winter Olympian, was appointed as Mary’s deputy and she was designated chef de mission.

Usha announced in a statement that the IOA will “respect her decision and her privacy” along with accepting her departure. “I will promptly announce the replacement for Mary Kom after conducting the necessary consultations,” Usha continued.

Mary Kom will Not Show up in the Ceremony

The IOA is in a risky situation as a result of Mary Kom’s action. While other nations announced their contingent leaders well in advance, India has sending people without any previous Olympic experience to the Chef de Mission meetings in the absence of a formal appointment.

Now that the Opening Ceremony is just over 100 days away, the IOA will have to start the entire process over.

According to government officials, Mary was first hesitant to accept the position but changed her mind after Usha and other officials persuaded her. Mary wrote in her letter that she was “deeply grateful” that you had trusted her. “I was mentally prepared for it and I considered it an honor to serve my country in every way possible.”

However, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to keep the high responsibility bestowed upon me as Chef de Mission for the 2024 Paris Olympics. I would prefer to withdraw from this role, partially due to the challenges that have incapacitated me, she continued.

Mary Kom claimed to have looked into “many alternative means to cover my place.” But even for a brief period of time, it is becoming harder for me to leave my family behind at this time. I’m really needed here,” she remarked. “Having stated the above facts, which I am unable to put in a clear and vivid manner, I humbly ask that you consider my request to resign from my position as Chef de Mission for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.”

In a multidisciplinary event, the chef de mission is the most significant administrative member of the contingent. The CDM is in charge of making sure the athletes are safe, communicating with the organizing committee on various matters, and being prepared to put out a fire in the event that a dispute breaks out.

Mary Kom participated in the Olympics in Tokyo, but she was eliminated in the round of 16. The regulations in Olympic-style boxing prohibit anyone 40 years of age or older from competing, therefore the 41-year-old is no longer qualified to compete.

In addition to Mary Kom and Keshavan, the IOA assigned bronze medallist Gagan Narang, a vice-president of the organization, the responsibility of “overseeing the shooting village operations.” By contrast, shooting will take place at Chateauroux, a village approximately 300 kilometers distant, while most other sports will take place in Paris and its suburbs.

Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala, a renowned specialist in sports medicine, has been named chief medical officer.r

Table tennis player Sharath Kamal, who is entering his sixth Olympics, was selected as the male flag-bearer. The International Olympic Committee has ordered that a woman flag-bearer be announced in the next few days.

Mary Kom stated that she will be “there to cheer on my country and the athletes” even though she is resigning from her position as Chef de Mission.

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