Li Xiang is a chinese special olympic athlete. His whole life, he has been breaking down barriers for people with disabilities in China. Chinese people face high levels of stigma if they have a disability from the moment they are diagnosed. His parents were shocked when they originally got his diagnoses of Down syndrome because people with disabilities are not seen as equal in China.
They nurtured Li Xiang and loved him, ignoring the stigma that people with disabilities receive. They eventually noticed that he had exceptional athletic abilities. Xiang found a passion for sports when an Olympic gymnast visited his school. He worked very hard to excel in sports. At first, he struggled because of his coordination as well as balance. He practiced a lot and eventually overcame his struggles. Xiang also did not like to fail and would allow himself to get discouraged because of it. Although he did not like to fail, he kept trying over and over again until he got it right. His coaches and parents encouraged him to get back up again any time he was knocked down. Luckily, he listened.
He competed for the first time in the Special Olympics when he was only 11 years old in 2015. He competed in artistic gymnastics and took home five medals. The medals included one gold, two silver, and two bronze. After turning 13, he competed in the Special Olympics once more. This time, he competed in the event of speed skating.
Li Xiang competed in gymnastics in the 2019 Special Olympic Games in Abu Dhabi. He took home two gold medals, four silver medals, and one bronze medal. Li Xiang helped to change the view on people with disabilities in China. He has proven that he is able to work hard for his dreams and accomplish anything he puts his mind to. Li Xiang will most likely participate in sports for many years to come because they make him happy and feel energetic.