Qian Hongyan carries through physical exercises in the juvenile swimming club for the disabled in Kunming City, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 20, 2011.
No legs and having to walk by a pair of hands, Qian Hongyan, 15, born in Shangzhuang Village of Luliang County in southwest China's Yunnan Province, is a girl embracing a dream to be a Paralympics swimming athlete.
She had ever been a normal and happy girl until four years of age when a road accident deprived her of lower part of her body forever. Since then, a specially-cut half-basketball has been installed to her lower body for the sake of easier walk. Because of this, the tragic girl is dubbed "basketball girl" by local people.
The girl, born in an impoverished family, had to face the fact that she had no chance to go to school like her peers when she ended her medical treatment in 2007 at the age of 11. The lucky girl, however, was encouraged to join a local juvenile swimming club for the disabled, the first of this kind across the country sponsored by Yunnan Provincial Federation of the Disabled.
Ever since, the girl opened a new page -- swimming, training, racing, and most importantly, rebuilding confidence and living as a useful human. By far, Qian has won three gold medals from the latest Yunnan Provincial Games, one gold and two silvers during the National Swimming Championships for the Disabled in 2009 and three silvers in the same championships in 2010.
Currently, the 15-year-old girl undergoes a training of at least four hours every day, one part of the efforts to realize her short-term dream as a swimming athlete for the Paralympics, to be held in London in 2012. "My long-term dream is to have a suitable job to lessen financial burden of my family," said the premature girl. (Xinhua/Qin Qing)