China's Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei are an amazing team. Their story is a story of pushing the boundaries. Breaking mental barriers and perseverance.
After I saw this video I wanted to know more about them. Here is what I found from various sources on the web:
Ma Li was a promising ballerina at the age of 19 when she lost her hand in a car accident.
Her world broke down. Boyfriend walked away. Dreams shattered.
She took life back in her own hands. The single hand. Started selling garments, fruits and those kinds of things. Then she tried calligraphy with her left hands. The provincial governemnt invited her to dance again. She went to the disabled artists' show and did well. During this journey she found a good soul named Tao who fell in love with her and helped her in her dreams of dancing again.
Zhai Xiaowei lost his leg at the age of 4. He became a cyclist and participated in special Olympics.
Their is oft quoted story about his father telling little Zhai that his leg will be amputated.
Father: The doctor will have to amputate your leg. Are you afraid?
Zhai couldn’t comprehend what would be so different so he said: N0!.
Father: You are going to face many challenges and difficulties in life, are you afraid?
Zhai: What are challenges and difficulties? Do they taste good?
His dad: ( laughed with tears): Yes, they’re like your favorite candies. You just need to eat them one piece at a time!
Together They Pushed Boundaries::
When Ma LI proposed Zhai to dance with her, he was reluctant. He never danced in his life. but then he saw Ma Li dancing on the stage and the mesmeric experience convinced him.
Both of them with support of Tao practiced more than 12 Hrs every day. She was an experienced dancer. He was a novice. He dropped her many times. Disappointments and frustrations were many. But the determination won.
In 2 years time they were ready. Not for the disabled competitions but to compete with everyone. They were the finalists among 7000 competitors in the 4th CCTV national dance competition.
They won everyone's heart and a silver medal too.
Isn't that inspiring!