Feature: Down syndrome boy becomes table tennis champion******
By sportswriters Zhang Sijie, Wang Ze and Zhao Yingbo
XI'AN, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- How hard could it be for a person with Down syndrome to become the Special Olympics East Asia Region Messenger and pocket more than 30 medals? The answer can be given by 21-year-old Yang Le, who was born in Baoji, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
On Tuesday, Yang is playing table tennis at China's 8th Special Olympic Games, held in Shaanxi Province between October 22 and 29. His story with the paddle dates back 13 years.
Born with a heart defect, Yang's motor skills are weak and he stumbles easily. To improve his physical fitness, his mother pushed him to play table tennis, which requires excellent hand-eye coordination.
At first, he was reluctant to practise as the training proved challenging for him. But in 2009, he took part in a competition for the first time and won his first medal.
But it was not until 2013 that he became truly passionate about sport after participating in the inaugural Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Australia, where he was beaten by overseas competitors. After that, he asked his coach to teach him how to loop the ball, and stepped up the intensity of his training regime.
In 2018, Yang was chosen as the 2018-19 Special Olympics East Asia Region Messenger. As an athlete representing China, he also shared his experience at the 2018 Special Olympics Global Athlete Congress in Santo Domingo.
At the opening ceremony of China's 11th National Games for Persons with Disabilities and 8th National Special Olympic Games, Yang showed his confident smile to the audience as the second torchbearer.
"It is sport that enables him to be stronger both physically and mentally, and I never imagined that we could be so proud of him," said his mother.
In addition to sports, Yang started his own bubble tea shop in Baoji, encouraging young people with intellectual disabilities to work together and experience joy, confidence and fulfilment.
Going forward, Yang will continue to pursue his sporting dreams. "I want to be a table tennis coach and share the joy of sport with more friends," said Yang. Enditem
BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Li Yan, president of the Chinese Skating Association, has been appointed as head coach of the country's speed skating team, China's winter sports administrative center confirmed on Wednesday.。
The 55-year-old was formerly the boss of China's short-track speed skating team, which won four gold medals at Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, two at Sochi 2014 and one at PyeongChang 2018 under her reign.。
Li stepped down as the head coach of the short track team in May 2019 when the national squads of speed skating and short track speed skating were merged into one.。
China's best result in Olympic speed skating competitions came in 2014 in Sochi, where Zhang Hong won the women's 1000-meter gold. Enditem。