Liang Jingyi of China celebrates after the Para Alpine skiing men's super-G standing of Beijing 2022 Paraympic Winter Games at National Alpine Skiing Center in Yanqing District, Beijing, March. 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Sun Fei)
"If you keep chasing your dreams, you would be an able-bodied skier. Giving up your dream is the real disability," said Liang Jingyi, the first male Chinese Para Alpine skier to win a Paralympic gold.
YANQING, Beijing, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Although Liang Jingyi failed to reach the podium again in the men's standing giant slalom of Alpine skiing at the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games, his eighth-place finish was nevertheless the best in the event for a Chinese skier.
"I am not in a good situation, I'd like to have a good rest and then prepare for my last competition on Saturday," said Liang.
Liang's left arm was impaired due to a medical accident at birth, but it didn't stop him from participating in sporting activities as a child.
"He has great determination. He is very competitive and always gives his all to fulfil his dreams," Li Xinying, a teacher from Liang's primary school, told Xinhua.
In 2016, Liang was selected by China's para cross-country team, and he then joined the national para Alpine skiing team.
"I could hardly stand on the skis at first. When facing my first formal competition, I was so nervous, and doubted whether I could finish the race," Liang said.
Liang Jingyi of China competes in the Para Alpine skiing men's Super-G Standing of Beijing 2022 Winter Paraympic Games, March. 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Jiang Han)
In the year 2021, Liang broke his collarbone in a pre-event training session. However, Liang soon discharged himself from hospital in order to compete at China's National Games for Persons with Disabilities.
Despite his injury, he took silver in the slalom event.
On March 5, the first day of action at the Beijing Winter Paralympics, Liang finished fourth in downhill, missing the podium by 0.19 seconds.
"It didn't affect my mood much. I just thought I shouldn't be impacted by one loss, because I still have many races to run," said Liang.
24 hours later, Liang was crowned the winner of the super-G event.
"It exceeded my expectations. I had never thought about whether I could win a gold medal. I just presumed it would be nice if I performed at a normal level," Liang said after becoming the first male Alpine skier representing China to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games.
Gold medalist Liang Jingyi of China attends the awarding ceremony for the Alpine skiing men's super-G standing of Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, March 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Jianan)
Liang told Xinhua that under the tutelage of elite Italian coach Dario Capelli, Chinese skiers have improved a lot in recent years, and are becoming stronger and stronger.
In his mind, he was never afraid of facing any competitors or difficulties.
"I can achieve everything an abled athlete can do. Compared with them, I can even do better," said Liang.
"If you keep chasing your dreams, you would be an able-bodied skier. Giving up your dream is the real disability," he added. ■