Mao Zedong famously espoused, “Women hold up half the sky”. But perhaps Mou Cong has the muscle to take on the burden all by herself. Earlier this month she became the first Chinese woman to win the Arnold Classic Amateur international bodybuilding championship.
Mou took the title for best figure and best physique in this year’s under 167cm category for women, besting 15 other competitors. The 32 year-old’s achievement also meant she became the first Chinese woman to be awarded membership of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB).
Mou began bodybuilding 10 years ago, and in 2012 won the women’s Asian Bodybuilding Championship in the category for women over 165cm. She has also undertaken three years of mixed martial arts training, making her a formidable nühanzi (a Chinese term for a woman of strong character).
Following her victory Mou had a few motivational words for her admirers: “Life has no dress rehearsal. If you have a dream, chase it, because realising your dreams is the purpose of life.”
Mou also predicted more Chinese women will join her on stage for bodybuilding championships in the years to come. She urged them, “Come out! Come and join the competition! There are actually so many exceptional bodybuilding athletes in our country.”
Last year, a number of female bodybuilders made a stir when the Hangzhou Sports Administration accepted female competitors for the first time in 10 years of running bodybuilding championships. Pictures of them spread online, but with the unflattering description “King Kong Barbies”.
The nickname surfaced again alongside stories of Mou’s victory, though generally netizens offered praise for her achievements. Posting a link to the story on its weibo feed, the People’s Daily even offered its congratulations to Mou for making history as a Chinese female bodybuilder.
© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.
Brought to you by HSBC.
The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.