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Sichuan quake survivors turn to sport

09-09-2012 11:49 BJT Special Report:2012 Paralympic Games |

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While paralympians have been grabbing th spotlight in London over the past couple of weeks, a group of athletes who are survivors of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake are trying to set records of their own in the arena build for the Chengdu paralympic games.

A disabled women’s swimming relay gets ready to kick off. These 3 girls didn’t used to have a particular interest in swimming. In fact, it wasn’t until they were wounded in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that they became serious about competing in the sport. They say the move is helping them accept the harsh realities of living with injury.

Yang Qin, Disabled Athlete, said, "When I was wounded in the earthquake, I felt I had lost everything in my life. I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me and helped me regain my confidence and spirit to live-on."

Zheng Jie, Disabled Athlete, said, "In this arena, I feel that I have a complete body. In the arena, I made the rankings completely on my own efforts and hard work. So this is the spirit of the great meet -- I gave myself more confidence at my core.”

2008 was a devastating year for all of them. Then 19-year-old Zhengjie was buried under debris for 50 hours before rescuers found her and saved her life but not her left arm.

Yang Qin lost her right leg under a collapsed wall when she was only 11 years old. And at the time 11 - year-old Zhang Chunmei had to have both legs amputated to save her life. But here, today, none of that matters. In spite of their challenges, perseverance in the face of adversity has led them all to tremendous accomplishment. Their coach of the past 2 years expresses his admiration.

Wu Minggang, Coach, said, "You cannot compare disabled athletes with the able-bodied, but I think they have a drive and ambition beyond all others."

That spirit certainly shows. But that demands that they face innumerable hardships and challenges first – both physical and mental. The medals they win may make for nice prizes, but they pale in comparison to the feeling of success. It’s hoped a big win here can help propel them throughout the rest of their lives.

"Natural disasters like earthquakes can traumatize people, but nothing can stop them from pursuing their dreams and overcoming difficulties throughout their lives. Liu Yang, CCTV, Sichuan province."



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source:

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