11-year-old 's brave bid to beat adversity

PHOTOS: REUTERS
PHOTOS: REUTERS

Eleven-year-old Gao Zhiyu lost both his legs in a car accident in 2012, but he is determined to live his life to the fullest. He had been trying to reach the summit of Lao Mountain, the birthplace of Taoism, in Qingdao, Qingdao Evening News reported.

He was joined on his first attempt on Saturday to climb to the top of the 1,133m-high mountain by Mr Chen Zhou, who shares a similar situation. The 33-year-old lost his legs in a train accident when he was 13.

The two began their climb at 9.30am on Saturday, but by 3.30pm Gao had to admit defeat because of severe blisters on his hands. He got as far as 900m up - using wooden boxes held in his hands as "shoes" as he climbed the route made of stone steps - before giving up, reported South China Morning Post. "Next time, I must make it to the top," the Qingdao boy told Qingdao Evening News.

Mr Chen, a self-help lecturer who has climbed to the top of more than 100 mountains, including Mount Tai and Mount Huang, said it was a shame that Gao did not make it to the summit.

"I don't think he is trying to conquer nature, or other people. All the challenges he takes on are just to conquer his own fears about his limitations," he said. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2016, with the headline '11-year-old 's brave bid to beat adversity'. Print Edition | Subscribe