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Young paraplegic reborn for Paralympics
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For the 20-year-old Guo Yandong, life seemed to end where it has just begun when he lost both legs in a fall-off accident two years ago, but his later wheelchair basketball story was a testimony that destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.

Guo Yandong is competing in Wheelchair Basketball International Invitation Tournament.

Guo Yandong is competing in Wheelchair Basketball International Invitation Tournament.  

Guo, who used to be a migrant worker in Beijing, is competing with the Chinese national wheelchair basketball team in a test event for the Beijing Paralympic Olympic Games in September.

"I cannot live without basketball. I want to see how much I can do in the sport," said a suntanned Guo, whose team lost to Australia 52-24 in the semifinals of the Wheelchair Basketball International Invitation Tournament on Thursday.

"When the team takes a holiday, I can't help thinking about coming back to see my teammates and to play again."

Guo, who started to play wheelchair basketball with a Beijing team, came in spotlight by leading the team all the way to the top at last year's National Games for People with Disabilities, in which he averaged about 20 points.

Guo's amazing skills earned him a call-up to the national team which is shaping up for the Paralympics. On the day an official notice reached him, Guo was so excited that he didn't sleep a wink that night.

"Basketball is a consolation, which helps me forget my tragedy and the lawsuit I am fighting," he said.

A poor farmer from Suqian in eastern China's Jiangsu province, Guo quitted middle school and moved to Beijing in 2005 to "seek a fortune", as he put it. He landed a job as a painter on a building site.

Fortune, however, did not smile on him. A fatal ninth-story fall drove him to the abyss of despair. It was a miracle he did not die, doctors said later.

Languishing in the hospital ward, the then 17-year-old was thinking about ending his own life.

"I don't feel anything below my chest. I'm going to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I don't think I can make it, and I don't want to live anymore," Guo recalled his despair.

His suicide attempt was stopped by his father.

It was in the China Rehabilitation Research Center where he started to open his mind. Like the hospital, the center could do nothing to his legs, but the rehab programs turned him into one ofthe most upbeat and positive patients there.

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