Wang Lijing, a veteran judo player, won a silver medal for the women's judo 52-kg class at the recently concluded London Paralympic Games on August 30, 2012.
Wang Lijing (L) shows off her medal at the London Paralympic Games. [tianjinwe.com]
After 10 years of active practice in judo, she has more than earned this honor. What makes her victory even more astonishing is the fact that Wang is vision-impaired.
Wang was born in north China's Tianjin Municipality in 1989. When she was 6 years old, her left eye was injured during an accident involving a knife. As a result, she lost her sight completely in that eye. Subsequently, improper treatment resulted in her right eye becoming infected and she lost more than half her sight in that eye too.
Living in darkness, Wang despaired of ever being able to be happy again. But she finally pulled herself together to face reality.
Later, she began to study at the Tianjin School for the Visually Impaired. She realized that surviving such a tragedy at a young age had given her a kind of faith in life. She fell in love with goal ball, a team sport designed for vision-impaired athletes, and showed talent for the game. In 2002, she began to train in judo.
"She was always an optimistic and friendly girl. Every time, you met her, she would stop to say hello," said Guo Ge, the director of the school's teaching affairs office. "I saw her train once in Beijing. Even though her opponent threw her onto the ground during the training, she never uttered a word of complaint."
In 2003, Wang participated in the national games for the disabled and won a silver medal for the women's judo 57-kg class, marking the start of her sporting career which would see her win several medals in the next few years.
In 2006 and 2007, she won numerous gold and silver medals in international and national sports events.
During the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008, she won a gold medal in the women's judo 57-kg class. After the games, she changed to the 52-kg class in the hopes of gaining an edge in that category.
In 2010, she won a silver medal for the women's judo 52-kg class in the IBSA World Games, and a gold medal in the Asian Para Games.
In order to maintain her weight, Wang undergoes rigorous training and is on a strict diet. "She is a really strong and persistent person," said Wang's coach, Chen Guiling.
"It has been 10 years since Wang began training in judo. She is currently at the peak of her career and physical fitness. We can expect more great things from her," Chen concluded.
(Source: xinhuanet.com/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)
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