Seven years ago, a car accident robbed this professional rock climber of the use of his legs. But rather than stop him from doing what he loved, he dedicated himself to finding new ways of climbing mountains despite his disadvantage. Now the athlete is being honored at the Laureus Sports Awards for his achievements he made despite his disability.
35-year old Hong Kong rock climber Lai Chi-Wai was nominated for the Laureus World’s Best Sporting Moment of the month after he was able to successfully climb Lion Rock, which is a 495 meter tall mountain in Hong Kong. He did this without the use of his legs and while carrying a wheelchair for mobility. The mountain was the perfect venue for his climb as it symbolizes the Hong Kong spirit of resilience, persistence, and unity.
The Laureus World Sports Award honors the best athletes and sporting moments each month. The Laureus organization was founded by Swiss based firm Richemont and German carmaker Daimler. Lai Chai is a 4-time champion of the Asian Rock Climbing Championships and the world’s first Chinese winner of the X-Game’s extreme sports.
“To me climbing to the top was accomplishing a dream of mine,” Lai said. “It also – by climbing the mountain – meant that I could show to my friends and supporters that I have overcome one of the lowest points in life: even though I’m in a wheelchair I can challenge other sports and still be able to do what I love most.”