Sang Lan, former member of the national women's gymnastic team, suffered severe spinal injuries in a competition at the Goodwill Games held in Long Island in New York in the United States in 1998 and has been bound to a wheelchair ever since.
Sang Lan captured the hearts of Americans
On July 21, 1998, 17-year-old Sang Lan was injured while attempting a
practice vault. According to doctors, she had a fracture-dislocation of C-6 on C-7. This had resulted in an injury to her spinal cord. At that time, she could not move her legs. She had minimal motion of her arms. She could not feel from her mid-chest down.
Despite her disability, Sang Lan determined not to allow herself lapse into despair. She did believe that she would walk again one day. While Sang Lan was undergoing rehabilitation in New York, she captured the hearts of Americans. Many people called her a "brave and incredible young lady". She had become an international symbol of courage and was very popular in United States.
Sang Lan Enrolled in Peking University
The optimistic and adamant girl has been admitted to the School of Journalism and Communication of Peking University. Her long-cherished desire to go to college has been realized.
Sang's mother said that before the vaulting accident, Song had always busied herself with trainings and contests. After she returned from New York, she became very enthusiastic in study and worked very hard. She even can use a computer skillfully now.
"Get up from where you fall is the most ordinary thing for a gymnast. And it's my motto," Sang said. "I'll arrange my time scientifically and work hard on my studies so as to be a winner in life."
As a former athlete, Sang keeps winning the honor for the nation in mind. "If I can get better, I'll play table tennis and get ready to compete in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, " she said.
Sang Lan may appear in Pingpong games
Sang Lan has lately expressed the desire to take up table tennis as her second sport profession and hopes to take part in 2008 Paralympic Games.
"I will return to competition in 2008. A gold medal in Beijing Olympics is all I want," Sang said.
In the past Paralympic Games, those who have lost their hands still have the ability to play with an arm. So long as she has the will to take up pingpong games, according to Sang Lan, she may join in like matches with opponents of her same grade, according to Paralympic medical classification.
Sang Lan's profile
Full Name: Sang Lan
Birth date/Place: June 11, 1981
Hometown: Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
Began Gymnastics: 1987
1998 Chinese Nationals--2nd vault;
1997 Chinese National Vault Champion;
1996 Chinese Nationals--2nd vault;
1996 American Cup--7th AA;
1995 Chinese Nationals--2nd vault;
1991 Zhejiang Provincial Games Champion--AA and all events.
Hobbies: Playing video games, watching "Tom and Jerry"
Food: Kentucky Fried Chicke
(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2003)