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Ballet girl battles for dream after Games fame
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Fame and media exposure: good or bad?

Li Yue's headline-making performance at the Beijing Paralympic Games may have helped her fulfill her longtime ballet dream, but at the same time, the fame it brought has made her life somewhat difficult, leaving her little privacy and peace.

Her teacher Xu Yi complains that the social outings and media appearances are "cruel" for Li Yue and "not good for her health and ordinary life," because she often misses classes and doesn't have enough time for sleep.

"Too much media exposure and interviews can have negative effects on her psychological recovery," said Xu. "Not only for her, but her classmates and even our school staff are bothered by some of the interviews."

Li Yue's mother, Li Jiaxiu, has also noticed the effects of fame on her little girl.

"Yueyue, the nickname for Li Yue, often gets so tired because of frequent social activities after class and the media exposure," said her mother thoughtfully.

"Last night she went to bed at 12:30 am after we finished an interview, which made her feel sick this morning, and then she couldn't wake up. She told me she felt great pain on the wounds of her amputated leg," Li Jiaxiu said, wiping tears from her eyes.

But Li Yue doesn't seem as unhappy with the media attention as her mother and teacher are. "I am not a star, but an ordinary student. Before the earthquake and the Paralympics, I was simply a child who studied and played everyday. Now there's not much difference, except for the interviews and programs, although I feel a little exhausted sometimes," she admitted.

Holding onto the ballet dream

As a ballet student who had been studying for nearly two years, the earthquake and losing a limb was a devastating blow for Li Yue, but it never ended the pursuit of her ballet dream.

"I have to accept the reality [of losing a leg], for I cannot wake up with my leg back after going to sleep one night," Li smiled, rubbing her crutches. "But I will never give up my dancing dream."

"Dancing encourages me a lot and it gives me strength and bravery when confronted with difficulties, especially during the earthquake," said Li. "It was my dancing dream that kept me going while I waited to be rescued after being trapped under the rubble."

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