December 2017 Nothing Can Stop Me
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On December 9, 2011, Lai Chi-wai was driving his motorcycle home when he was struck by two cars and thrown onto the road. The car accident left the then professional rock climber, who was once ranked eighth in the world, paraplegic. “I lost everything in one night. I fell from heaven to hell,” Lai, now 34, recalled. At the time of the accident, Lai’s wife was in the same hospital, heavily pregnant with their son. “My son is the only reason I chose to live on. I want to stand up, hold him in the air and do things that other ordinary dads can do,” Lai said. Such a devastating injury would be enough to dampen anyone’s spirits. But Lai refused to leave the sport he loved behind, and after three months in hospital, he began working as a full-time coach for the Hong Kong sports climbing team.
In 2014, when Lai was selected as one of Hong Kong’s 10 most outstanding people, he announced his plan to climb Lion Rock in his wheelchair – something that many thought was impossible. And on December 9, 2016, Lai Chi-wai fulfilled his promise and became the first paraplegic to climb all the way to the granite top of Lion Rock. “Breaking news, wheelchair discovered on Lion Rock,” the young athlete wrote on his Facebook page, “I want to show others the Lion Rock spirit. Nothing can stop us if we put our mind into it!”
Today, he continues his career as a motivational speaker: “You dare to dream and dare to try – do not let your body limitation discourage you from doing what you love to do.”