Qian Hongyan – Swimming Champion

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
February 28, 2017Stories


We have all heard it a million times, “Never Give Up!” But words without actions are just words. This is a story about Qian Hongyan, the girl who never had to say those words because instead, she exemplified them.

At the age of four, Qian Hongyan lost both of her legs in a horrible accident, where she nearly lost her life as well. She was a young girl living in poverty, doing the best they knew how to make ends meet. Nearly from the very beginning, the layers of odds stacked against her in life were immense. How would one react to such a loss in those circumstances? Qian taught us how.


With the love and guidance of her family, she endured the amputation of her two legs, needing the ability to rest on occasion as she scooted around with her arms, her grandfather created a solution by using a basketball attached to her lower body. It worked.


Qian Hongyan was a very special little girl who had the grit and determination to overcome anything. She was asked to join a swim team in Yunnan, China, a team for disabled persons called South of the Cloud. Qian accepted the challenge, but the struggle of swimming without legs were a huge obstacle to overcome. Nonetheless, she gave it her all. was eager to learn but because of the placement of her amputation, it was a major challenge for Qian to swim.


By the age of 16, she had not only overcome those challenges, but she welcomed new ones by swimming daily and training for the Paralympics. She earned a bronze medal at the 2012 races in London but didn’t qualify. That did not stop her. By 18, she had the prosthesis for her legs made and began training again. Her success was astonishing and in 2014 she won the 100m Breaststroke At The Yunnan Provincial Paralympic Games.

The next time you feel like giving up, just think of Qian’s story!

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