March 4 is a significant date in Yang Shuting's life: She got back on her feet after more than one decade and participated in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games as a torchbearer.
Yang Shuting, an entrepreneur from Chengbu Miao Autonomous County, Hunan Province, gets back on her feet at the torch relay of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games on March 4 (COURTESY PHOTO)
Eleven years ago, a car accident turned Yang's life upside down and left her paraplegic. But today, she walked once again, supported by an exoskeleton robot, at Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing. She practiced for the event for more than two months. It's not an easy task. "But it was a happy journey for me. The advanced technology allowed me the hope to stand up and walk again," she told Beijing Review.
Yang's appearance lasted about three minutes. "Carrying the Paralympic torch is to pass on the hopes of peace, the courage to face difficulties and the power of people with disabilities in creating wonderful lives," she said.
After the dramatic change in her life, Yang was long lost in sadness. It was the encouragement from her family and friends that made her stronger. Their love has been a source of strength during the training, she added.
Yang grew up in Chengbu Miao Autonomous County in Shaoyang, Hunan Province. Coming out of the accident's shadows, she has developed artificial flower, bag and luggage businesses, creating jobs for 1,400 villagers, including 59 people with disabilities. She said she would continue to contribute to rural revitalization by boosting her business and creating more jobs.
The torch relay began on March 2 and will be completed on the evening of March 4, at the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympics at the National Stadium in Beijing.
"I hope people can learn from paralympians who take the cards they have been dealt and overcome difficulties," Yang added.
Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon
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