Viral sensation: Gui gained international attention after one of her TikTok videos went viral in China, where it received over 269,000 likes and more than 10,000 comments, according to CGTN.
The 36-year-old former Paralympian shared a 15-second video of her wearing a qipao, a traditional Chinese outfit, on Oct. 30. It was taken in October at the World Orsay Pro beauty contest in the city of Huaian, where Gui competed in Miss Bikini and Miss Qiao. She later won champion titles for the two events.
Hong Kong Free Press reported via AFP that Gui reflected on these events, saying, “It’s possible that I won first place not because of my professionalism or muscles, but because of my confidence and bravery to stand on the stage and show myself to everyone.”
Other Chinese media reposted her videos on Dec. 3 and garnered millions of views.
Gui, who hails from Nanning in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has gained a massive following online with over 200,000 fans on TikTok.
Achievements as a bodybuilder and as a Paralympian: Although she is still new in the bodybuilding world, Gui has already cemented her name as a serious competitor.
After winning her first competition last October, Gui entered another one on Dec. 11, 2020, for the Chinese Bodybuilding Association (CBBA) Pro Elites League in Beijing.
Before her venture into bodybuilding, Gui had several accomplishments as a Paralympian under her belt, including winning 7th place for the women’s long jump F42-46 event during the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games in Greece.
Gui also broke a world record for the women’s high jump for amputees at the 2007 National Games for Disabled Persons and became a torchbearer for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. She also won the National Model Worker award in 2015.
Tragic childhood: Gui lost one of her legs at the age of 7. She was on her way home from school when a truck accidentally hit her.
Children would often call her names such as “cripple” and “three-legged cat.” School bullies would kick Gui’s crutch to make her fall.
“Most of the time it was abusive language like that and sometimes physical abuse,” Gui said. “The first time they made me fall I cried, but then I got used to it and I thought: you can bully me however you want, but I’ll be fine because I have a brave heart.”
Gui was selected to compete for China’s national team at 17 after attending a match for long jump and high jump.
“I was selected by my hometown’s disabled person’s federation coincidentally, and I practiced long jump and high jump in the beginning,” she said. “I just attended one big formal match and was selected into the national team.”
Gui encountered discrimination from several companies while looking for a job after retiring in 2017.
“I attended many job interviews, and most of the interviewers told me, ‘Your physique is not suitable for our company.’ I was really confused at that time, I thought I was same as normal people, and I could do everything that intact people could do,” she said.
She eventually found a job at a decorative paint company in the city of Yancheng.
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