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Ballet girl battles for dream after Games fame
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No easy healing after the quake

Li Yue returned to her hometown of Beichuan County, the epicenter of the May 12 Sichuan earthquake, on Tomb-Sweeping Day on April 4 this year. She joined close to 90,000 mourners who paid tribute to the victims.

When asked about the official ceremony that day, she spoke of a "weird and scary incident" when a gust of wind whirled away the "ghost money" to the sky, after they burned offerings for the dead.

"It was sunny and breezy at first, but then a heavy wind came in suddenly," Li recalled peacefully. "Mourners standing beside me said the wind was sent to get the 'money' to the victims who we were mourning. I hope they will receive it, as well as our prayers for them."

During her return visit, Li also met with former schoolmates who are now studying at a tent primary school in Mianyang city, Sichuan province. "We recalled the earthquake and the rescue, but none of us cried," Li said. "We do not want to cry, but want to smile, for we are grateful that we survived."

"We truly believe in the saying, 'Good luck will come to those who survive a catastrophe,'" Li said, nodding her head firmly.

Compared with Li Yue's self-poise and calmness toward the earthquake's aftermath, her mother usually seems more worried than relieved.

"Yue Yue is still scared when she is left alone at home and she cannot sleep without a light at night," Li sighed. "So I sleep beside her, with all the lights on every night."

Li Yue is not the only young quake survivor who became famous. Several others have been put in the spotlight for their bravery and calmness, and they too have not lived peacefully since then, encountering many problems.

Lin hao, China's youngest "quake hero," who is remembered as the little boy walking hand-in-hand with basketball idol Yao Ming at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, is one of those survivor children now facing difficulties.

After six months living in Shanghai, the 10-year-old was brought back to his home province under the pressure of high living costs.

As for Li Yue’s daily living costs, they too are high and may prevent her and her mother from staying in Beijing. "I do not know how long we will stay in the high-cost city of Beijing. But as long as Yue Yue likes to stay here, I will support her and her ballet dream even if I go into debt," said Li Yue's mother.

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