The limits never stop the true heroes from achieving success, today’s #tbt story is about the athlete which is living the dream by overcoming fear.
Maria Toorpakai Wazir is a 26 years old top ranked squash player in a region of the world where girls aren’t allowed to participate in sports. To play, she disguised herself as a boy. She dressed like a boy for the first 16 years of her life in order to participate in competitive sports as a Muslim girl, using the name Genghis Khan, fully supported by her Muslim parents.
“I was born in Waziristan, Pakistan, a remote region commonly referred to as the “most dangerous place on earth. Girls rarely go to school and certainly don’t place sports. But, I grew up differently from other girls. At the age of four, I burnt all my dresses, cut my hair, put on my brother’s clothes and began to live life as a boy. My father, a strong advocate for equal rights and opportunities for men and women, pushed tradition aside and allowed me to live disguised in order to flourish as an athlete. When I was 12 years old, still disguised as a boy, I was ranked #2 in all of Pakistan for weightlifting in the junior division. Then I discovered squash. When the local squash academy in Peshawar required a birth certificate, my true identity was revealed. Fortunately, the director shared the same values as my father and handed me a racquet.”