Guwahati: ‘Is she my wife? Remove the red wax statue…” Onler Karong, MC, London Olympics bronze medalist from Mary Kom Husband is unimpressed by the statue carved in his wife’s honor along with 18 other Olympians in the proposed Manipur Olympian Park in Sangauthel near the capital.
“I just voiced a problem, I’m not complaining. But this is not right, you can make jokes in newspapers for satire, but not statues. Kyo joker banaya (Why did they make a joker out of her statue)? And I don’t say that since she is my wife, as a sports enthusiast I would have raised similar objections if it had been done with other athletes as well,” Onler shared. EastMojo over the phone.
“If the state government wants to pay respect to the state Olympic medalists, is that the kind of statue they are supposed to make? Tell me from what angle does that statue look like Mary Kom? Even the children have rejected the image. My sons have refused to believe it is their mother’s image,” he added.
“This is shoddy work, and to say the least, it is disrespectful to our athletes, who over the years have brought laurels to the state and country through hard work. Mary Kom has been a six-time world champion,” he continued.
Onler, who has been a mainstay for the six-time world champion, said he would have been grumbled the same way if it had been done to a Lovlina Borgohain or a Shiva Thapa in Assam. “This is just not acceptable. No other boxer or athlete who has won so many medals for the state, the Northeast and the country deserves such shoddy treatment.”
Onler felt the government was caught in a nap for rightly requesting proper permission from the Olympic medalist but not bothering to check the progress of work on the statue, which has resulted in such a “prankster” .
“They had to come and measure her face, and her gloves. I wonder what the future generation will learn from watching these pranksters. They didn’t check anything, I don’t blame the sculptors, but it is the duty of those who employed these sculptors to check the progress of the work from time to time,” he said.
Onler said he has contacted Chief Minister Biren Singh, and the CMO has agreed to change the statue. But he is still skeptical about the changes, as the park will open in a few days.
“We are in discussions with the National Government about this. The CMO has agreed to change the image, but the park will probably open in a few days, and will they get the image changed by then? I doubt it, but let’s see look,” he said.
“If they can’t remove it, I’ll come get it,” he said before signing.
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The statues of all 19 Olympians, including three medalists, are expected to be installed in a shed in the park. After Mary Kom’s bronze in 2012, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (weightlifting) and Nilankanta Sharma (hockey) returned home with a silver and a bronze team medal respectively from the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Hockey star Sushila Chanu also made history after a heartbreaking fourth-place finish for the Indian women’s team in Japan’s capital.
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