Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yang Linshan listens to Paralympic judo live

It is the second time that Yang Linshan has ever been to a live game in his life.

Clapping the inflatable cheer sticks like a kid, the 47-year-old man was among the happiest of more than 6,000 spectators attending the Paralympic judo competitions at the Workers Gymnasium on Tuesday.

"These sticks are really good, do you know who invented it?" he asked. "It must be somebody who loves sports and goes to the stadium a lot.

"Finally there is a day that he found his hands were too tired and he got the idea of these sticks."

Although he can not see, Yang could easily find the heads of his friends sitting in front of him and slightly knocking on them with the sticks.

"I am so excited, so are my friends," the laid-off worker said. "I never knew I could have the chance to come here to the stadium for this exciting competition."

Yang had been to a table tennis match before, but that was almost two decades ago and he could hardly remember any details.

"I just remember that it was a domestic game and the Beijing club was involved, I don't know the score," he said. "But I love the live atmosphere, it's really different from listening to the radio or watching TV.

"I can even hear the players crashing on the Tatami and the coaches shouting at them, it is simply great."

Yang used to take a lot of sports activities when attending the blind school in Beijing, but after graduation he "retired" due to limit of time and lack of proper place.

"I liked running, rope skipping and parallel bars exercises when I was a student, and I even got injured when I took part in sports activities," Yang said, pointing to a seam above his eye.

"However, when I began to work, it's really hard to find some place to do sports."

Yang would love to be a judoka and take part in the Paralympic Games if he were young enough.

"I really love sports, I often feel that I have nowhere to use my strength and energy," he said. "Had I had the chance, I would love to do any Paralympic sports."

Yang was regretful that his son, an accountant student at the University of International Business and Economics who has perfect eyesight, did not inherit his sports talent completely.

"He used to play soccer in primary school, but now he had to spend most of his time in academic study," Yang said.

Yang, who also loves listening to novels and other literature works on the radio, wished his son could become a writer.

"I know it's really difficult, it's only my dream," he said. " Actually, for me, any job would be great, because there are so many jobs that I want to do but can not do."

Yang, who lost sights when he was three or four years old after suffering from measles, was content after hearing compatriot Yuan Yanping claim the title in the women's +70 kg judo competition and cheering for her.

"I am so happy today, even though I can not see," Yang said. "I have tried hard to find the difference from red and green in my memory as a kid, but it's just become vaguer and vaguer.

"Anyway, I love sports. And I love sports more after this precious experience," Yang told Xinhua. "Please write about everything in your story so that the commentators can tell us about everything on the radio, because the people like me are eager to know everything happening in the stadium."

Source: Xinhua

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