People believe that everyone has a predetermined purpose in life. But for Agatha Wong, she achieved success through hard work, patience, and a little bit of fate before becoming a multi-medaled and renowned Wushu artist.
It all started when Wong’s parents encouraged her to try sports at a young age. They believed in Agatha not just getting good grades but also having extracurricular activities. In the hopes of finding her true passion, she tried swimming and karate before finally sticking to wushu.
Although Wong’s hard work needs to be given credit, the universe plays a role in making her a wushu artist. It was a coincidence when Wong’s grandmother was passing through Taft Avenue and encountered a flier that advertised wushu. This minor event would eventually lead to a gold medalist athlete that has repeatedly brought pride to the Philippines.
But before being known as the Wushu queen, there’s a story about perseverance, self-confidence and incorporating Filipino-Chinese values.
Embodying The Filipino-Chinese Values
The beauty of being Filipino-Chinese is that you can develop unique values. For Agatha Wong, she developed life principles that helped her throughout her career in the sports industry.
“Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart kasi Chinese values ng sport na to is discipline tapos camaraderie, [and] building very good relationships with people and just building yung confidence ko over the years. So yung sport na ‘to has given me the opportunity not only to represent my country but also to being true to who I am both as a Filipino and also having Chinese blood.”
For Agatha, Wushu is a complex sport with continuous effort and practice. You cannot learn it within months or a year, but you must attend training consistently. She believes being a Chinoy helped her develop the right mindset to become a better athlete.
“Yung Chinoy values I think naexpose din ako sa Chinese culture here. So makikita mo yung coaches ko they’re all Chinese. So I think yung values na nakuha ko from them is to learn how to be humble. You know it’s a big part to be humble dito sa sports na wushu.”
On Balancing Med School And Sports
Being a med student is already challenging, but what more if you’re also an athlete? Agatha Wong shows she can achieve multiple things by developing a strong mindset. However, balancing med school and sports made Agatha sacrifice her social life. She shared that she sacrificed human core memories (travels with friends and families) in exchange for her training.
Wong shares the importance of training: “Hindi siya importante three months before the competition and six months before the competition. It’s important every day kasi that’s how you build your character yourself discipline yung self-regulation mo that’s how you build self-control. And then that’s how I think, that’s how you build future champions.”
With a strong sense of responsibility for her training, Wong admitted she had a challenging time in her first year of medical school. But luckily, Wong’s great dedication helped her overcome this difficult period.
“Pero if you pair that with training mas nahirapan ako. Pero kasi ano eh parang ever since I started med school and then I also balance it with training parang feeling ko I’ve gotten like stronger mentally so ngayon feeling ko if tinanggal ko yung sports sa equation kayang kaya ko yung medicine. And kapag pinagsama mo medyo nag st-struggle ako. Pero yung important sakin is na-prove ko na kaya ko siya.”
Overcoming Health Challenges
You might assume Agatha Wong has everything: a successful sports career, a med student, and a supporting family. But most people probably don’t know that she also suffers from a slipped disk. Slipped disk happens because of wear and tear, making the patient less flexible.
“Nung 2018 akala ko hindi na ako makakapag sports kasi I was gonna graduate college na. Siguro mga a few months before and then I started feeling this right like parang breathing pain so back ko sa lower back ko.Hanggang sa one time I was here, I was training, nag collapse ako and then I was rushed to the ER tas in-MRI ako.”
But this tribulation didn’t stop Agatha from furthering her sports career. Her family also supported her and advised her not to undergo surgery but insisted on pain medications for maintenance. As a result, Agatha developed a stronger mental outlook towards her life.
“For a brief moment nung na diagnose ako pero nung ano when I learned to live with my injury I realized na I think I’m stronger than what I thought to be. So yung sports kasi it’s always a mental game like when athletes get injured they usually end up doing movements na they think they can pero yun pala hindi. Pero, it’s really about practice, like a lot of practice.”
Agatha Wong shows how perseverance can help you become the person you want to be. She’s truly an icon for the Chinoy community and a good role model for other athletes.
To learn more about her story, catch Agatha Wong this upcoming July 16 on CNN Philippines at 8 pm. You can also follow us on CHiNOYTV’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for more updates.