2017 BRICS Games: Indian wushu competitor breaks down walls

By CGTN's Mu Dan & Wang Meng

The "I" in BRICS stands for India, the country with the world's second largest population, and it is here in this nation that a recent Bollywood movie about a father who trains his daughters to become wrestling champions has become popular. The story has also stoked curiosity about the hardships faced by Indian female athletes, but one wushu competitor wants to make it clear that there are many ways for life to imitate art.
The Bollywood blockbuster "Dangal" was screened at the Beijing International Film Festival two months ago, and has since become a viral sensation in China. Indian wushu practitioner Toshibala Ngangom's career doesn't exactly parallel those of the movie's protagonists, but she has faced other unique challenges on her path to the inaugural BRICS Games.
“In India, wushu is undeveloped, and not as popular as it is in China,“ Toshibala said. “When I was a child, my parents got me in touch with this game, because through training, my strength had changed, so in this way I was starting play wushu.”
Toshibala Ngangom (Left) earned silver medal in the women’s wushu game / CGTN Picture

Toshibala Ngangom (Left) earned silver medal in the women’s wushu game / CGTN Picture

Recognizing the positive change that getting involved in a sport has made in her life, Toshibala is optimistic about the acceptance of and support for female athletes in India continuing to grow.
“In the current situation now in the government, they are trying very hard to make women participate in these games, not only men, but women also get importance.” Toshibala said.
This ambitious university student constantly finds herself juggling an extremely demanding schedule, but pushes through everything with just the sort of philosophical outlook one would expect from a martial arts enthusiast.
That determination helped the 30-year-old land a silver medal at the BRICS Games, while also reinforcing the Indian competitor's resolve to rack up even bigger results in the future, as her wushu career keeps on blossoming.