The 15th edition of the Special Olympics Summer Games is being held in the UAE, with more than 100 Chinese players participating in the event. During the opening ceremony, the Chinese delegation was led by the famous Chinese gymnast Li Xiaopeng, who was holding a boy named Li Xiang.
Li Xiang, a Chinese gymnast for the Special Olympics: I love physical exercise because it is full of strength and beauty. My goal is to get seven gold medals to honor my country.
Li Xiang is a 15-year-old Chinese boy with Down’s syndrome. He began gymnastics career at the age of 10 when Chinese gymnast Li Xiaopeng visited his school, then he discovered his athletic talent and began to attach himself to gymnastics. Although Down’s syndrome lacks strength, balance and consistency, Li Xiang never thought of giving up his sports dream.
“Since his participation in the Special Olympics Games, he has determined to be a world champion,” said Shi Zhuoying, the teacher of Li Xiang. He participated in the Olympics in 2015, and won a gold medal, which increased his self-confidence. During the period before the Special Olympics this time, he kept practicing seriously, even his hands injured.
In addition to gymnastics, Li Xiang also participates in other sports such as speed skating and the globe.
Yang Jianying, the mother of Li Xiang: I feel that physical fitness is more important than his life. Sometimes he has a cold and I asks him to take a rest, but he refuses and tells me that he want to practice.
Gymnastic taught Li Xiang perseverance and integration into people. More importantly, it taught him how to encourage himself to continue the road ahead.
“I will strive harder,” said Li Xiang, “If I meet something that hinders me, I will not never retreat, but I would go on steadily until I was high.