XIE Yanhong, the first disabled person to swim across the English Channel, received a hero's welcome on his return home on Thursday.
Welcoming Xie at the Beijing Capital International Airport, Guo Jianmo, chairman of the executive board of the China Disabled Persons Federation, proclaimed him a hero who has proved to the world the extraordinary courage and persistence of Chinese disabled persons.
Xie's achievement will encourage more disabled persons to get out of their home and into sports, said Guo.
“We have someone right here convincing us that persistence will make dreams come true.”
Guo hailed Xie's success as a great start for the series of activities planned to heighten awareness of disabled sports.
“We shall try our best to present an outstanding 2008 Paralympics, but the support of the Chinese society will be essential,” he said.
“For example, without the support of the local government of Xie's hometown, Dalian, which generously covered most of the expenses, the 34-year-old Xie might never have accomplished his dream.”
He swam across the channel last week in 16 hours and 44 minutes.
During a visit to Beijing last year, Phil Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said disabled persons from the Far East and South Pacific would play a more active role in international paralympic events over the next decade. – China Daily
Did you find this article insightful?