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Cambodia women see future in sports and big muscles

It is an article I like writing. Awed by the issues affecting women and society, I’d like to show my readers how Cambodian women have come so far.

Cambodia women are breaking free of social stigmas and disproving myths to succeed in the world of sports.

Vath Chamroeurn, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, says that over the past several years women have accounted for 30 percent of the total population of athletes representing Cambodia in international contests. In 2009 alone, Cambodian female athletes won one gold medal, four silvers, and 13 bronzes in the 25th Southeast Asian Games held in Laos. Events included pétanque, tae kwon do, volleyball, weight lifting, and wrestling.

Lack Som Ath, general director of the General Department of Sports at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, says that Cambodian female athletes participate in as many as 20 sports.

a woman practices Bok Tor, Cambodian martial art.

Photo by Eric Wang

One shining example is Duch Sophorn – Cambodia’s finest player of pétanque (a form of boules), who has won gold, silver, and bronze medals in international competitions over the past 10 years. Her success has inspired many young girls to pursue athletics. But she admits it has come at a price in a society that views athletic-looking women as sterile and unattractive.

“I have developed muscles and [I am] very strong. [If] men don’t like me, I don’t care, as long as I love myself,” says Ms. Sophorn.

You can read it here too.

2 thoughts on “Cambodia women see future in sports and big muscles

  1. yeah.. to gain sth means to lose sth else… when a woman involves in sport seriously, they develop the muscles and, as what the article mentioned, it’s not viewed as a good looking to other ppl. It’s unfair, yet, it’s the fact. What’s your idea?

  2. I think it’s not about developing muscles and becoming men. In other countries, women are viewed as an equal partner. In Cambodia, women are seen as submissive wives, and they have to look extremely like an angel to be loved. Some women dread doing sports, afraid they will lose their slim look/body. Something apparently wrong here is that women don’t take their own potential to a higher level because they are afraid by being pushed away as a potential bride for someone because of the price they pay. I say: Keep going, ladies.

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