Chinese Girl Has Basketball for a Body

Posted on December 22, 2008

Qian Hongyan, who was forced to use half a basketball as her prosthetic body, has inspired millions recently with her ambition to compete as a swimmer in the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Qian swims about 2000 meters a day and trains really hard.

“Qian Hongyan studies hard. She never grouches in training although she was confronted with many difficulties at the beginning, ” her coach said.

The 10 year-old was injured trajically in an auto accident when she was only 3 years old. To insure her survival, the doctors were forced to amputate her legs.

Qian’s family, living in Zhuangxia, China, was unable to afford modern prosthetics and instead used a half a basketball to get around on. Once on the ball she uses two wooden props to help her move around.

Qian now has a pair of proper prosthetic legs, but still says she likes to use the basketball from time to time as it is easier for her to get in and out of the pool with.

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(link 1 2) (Thx Layminto)

Sun Tzu has spent about 7 years in Asia traveling through Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Korea. A true fan of everything that is weird and strange, he decides in the end what is displayed and published on this site. Sun has previous experience writing for numerous print mags such as XLR8R, URB, and Movement Magazine.

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83 thoughts on “Chinese Girl Has Basketball for a Body

  1. Neslock

    This story made the rounds about a year ago, and she’s been one of my heroes ever since then. It’s such a tragic story, but when you see how happy and upbeat she is it just makes all your own problems seem so small.

  2. Kotka Mroku

    She’s amazing. She is strong physically and mentally. She lives this way because she can’t imagin living in any other way. I hope her life will be happy and that she will stay this strong whole the time.

  3. john

    We are so blessed that we/i need to shut up, quit complaining and start giving generously. i bet she has a champion spirit and is tough as nails.

  4. Reader

    Well, it’s only the legs that were amputated, she just “wears” the basketball over her lower section as a body “shoe”. I am quite frankly surprised that no one else has pointed out the fact that you didn’t actually READ the article.

  5. DK

    Haha. Why go for those awful prostethics when she could get a cool pair of wooden peg legs? Talk about a wasted opportunity…

  6. Leo

    It’s a good thing she’ll be swimming in the 2012 paralympics, because she doesn’t stand a chance in hell of winning any ass-kicking contests.

    1. Mich

      Just because you're Asian doesn't mean you don't believe in Santa Clause. Santa is a religious thing and not a cultural thing!

    2. an

      Have you been to a Christian church since you were born? Santa has nothing to do with religion. Christ does. Your remarks mocking a child with a physical challenge is crude and cruel. Wonder if you would live as well as she.

  7. wow

    … wow.
    A lot of the comments below are horrible, are you seriously poking fun at a little girl who has more courage then any of you could hope for in a lifetime? Why don’t you go to a developing country and witness these types of people suffering… THEN see if you have it in you to make fun of this adorable heroic child.

    1. kw

      I agree. There’s so many stupid insensitive people out there taking life for granted. They have no idea how life can be so difficult outside their little world. They should stay in school and get an education.

      1. cloud

        though i hope the girl has fun doing what she want to do – swim -, i don't think there's ANY reason whatsoever to call her brave, or courageous, or claim that she has it hard, or suffers. she's been this way since she was three, so she doesn't know any better. she may be different, and her top speed may not be as high as running children, but this is no reason to call her HEROIC!
        i'm not saying she's weak, i mean, she did survive and all, but i wouldn't say she's way above average either.

        you people only say these things because you over sympathize, romanticize and think shallow.

  8. stu

    i read this and felt sad
    i did laugh at some of the jokes , they were funny
    but in all honesty , i really wish i could help this girl
    she makes my problems look small

  9. pete

    To the vermin making fun of this cute little girl, Drive 100 mph into a stone wall, may a stray bullet find your spine. Kill yourselves or better yet live like those you make fun of. How can anyone make fun of this little girl? God knows who you slime are.

  10. tom the petaphile

    To Tom,
    The world would be a much better place without this girl, Think about it… Poorer kids in other countries would have one more basketball to play with thus reducing crime.

  11. Paul R Wilson

    Hardly a day goes by without my reading from a paper or from the Internet some piece about the mess in the world. Now this ! I do not believe in a loving God who is somehow 3 gods – and certainly NOT in a burning hell for all!

  12. Roar

    the incredible little girl i ever seen…
    it’s make me going strong..and my spirit getting up.
    GOD Bless the lil’ girl..

  13. Tim

    The education that they need doesn’t come from school anymore. True education comes from desire and interaction with those wiser than ourselves. All the formal education in the world doesn’t fix anything.

  14. Belbecat

    And to think stupid kids these days kill themselves cos they got a bad grade or someone broke up with them LOL. I’m glad to see there can still be nice stories like this. Turn off that Super Sweet 16 crap and read about real people!

  15. Sempiternal

    Amazing, what a fighter!
    She deserves an award for her amazing spirit!
    I hope she does amazing at the paraolympics!

    And to the people being quite ignorant and rude about this,
    shut up. You should be ashamed of such behavior!

  16. dave

    may we all have the same courage to smile in our tough times… even for those who now make jokes of this girl…hope you learn to respect and to have compassion for others, before you yourself face such hard situation, and in need of compassion and respect from others.

  17. kha

    Keep dreaming and take all the chances to reach that dreams.. Your a wonderful girl, you manages to smile even in your biggest disappointments. You know how to deal with your problems, and with that I salute you. Thanks for inspiring us. :)

  18. archie carsula

    she's a very strong person, now i want her to be one of my inspiration to do better in life. i salute her


    After seeing this website, Hollywood's Robert Zemeckis (producer of such movies as "Castaway", "Beowulf", "What Lies Beneath", etc.) wants to re-make the movie "Castaway" (starring Tom Hanks) and cast Qian Hongyan for the part as Wilson. In this version, Wilson has speaking parts. When asked to comment, Qian Hongyan said she might consider the opportunity but was fearful that the role might "stunt" her growth as a creative dramatic actress as everyone would remember her as "Wilson".

  20. Reminded

    I was inspired by this story myself. The first time I saw this girl, saw her face and read her stories, it made it easier to remember the countless blessing God gave us every single day…

  21. Mish

    For all you people who sit there and joke about this… this is not a joke for this girl, this is her life. If that was your sister, would you still crack jokes? You should be ashamed of yourselves

  22. Amar

    Wow what a spirit of that little girl. She is definitely and inspirations to all those who think they are not blessed with everything in life. Great post

  23. Alan

    Suddenly my broken ankle doesn't seem so bad. What a bittersweet and wonderful story. And what a strong little girl.

  24. ingemar Magnusson

    This girl made this world a better place by showing her great smile that
    both inspired and moved any normal person being touched by her strong will.
    Western kids hardly manage to get out of bed when school day comes,I´d like
    to see them bounce to school everyday.

    I can make jokes about anything,really think nothing is sacred when it comes to humour,
    but all you guys (don´t think for my life a women makes jokes like that) that has left
    "funny" remarks here after the story,you should know that coming to this site
    and reading your comment is the opposite of reading about the courageous girl,
    your comments only make the world a worser place,showing all the ugly things
    in human kind.

    I was happy reading about her,I have thought about her since I read about her some years
    ago,I´m happy she seem to have a good life.

  25. Maury

    This is an awesome little girl, and brave at that. This a touching story. Goes to show us all, that there are people in need everywhere, specially children. We don't need to go that far away to help someone in need. We can start with our family or friends or neighbors or others.

  26. anil kumar

    all the best for the olympics. you will win and will create history. you will be the eighth wonder of the world.


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