Paraplegic climber ascends Hong Kong skyscraper

Lai Chi-wai, a paraplegic climber, attempts to climb the 320-metre tall Nina Tower using only his...
Lai Chi-wai, a paraplegic climber, attempts to climb the 320-metre tall Nina Tower using only his upper body strength, in Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters
Lai Chi-wai became the first in Hong Kong to climb more than 250 metres of a skyscraper while strapped into a wheelchair as he pulled himself up for more than 10 hours on Saturday to raise money for spinal cord patients.

The 37-year-old climber, whose car accident 10 years ago left him paralysed from waist down, could not make it to the top of the 300 metre-tall Nina Tower on the Kowloon peninsula.

"I was quite scared," Lai said. "Climbing up a mountain, I can hold onto rocks or little holes, but with glass, all I can really rely on is the rope that I'm hanging off."

The event raised HK$5.2 million ($670,639) in donations.

Lai, prior to 2011, was crowned Asia champion four times for rock climbing and at one point ranked eighth globally.

After his accident, he resumed climbing by attaching his wheelchair to a pulley system. Five years ago he ascended the 495-metre high Lion Rock mountain, a local folk culture symbol of Hong Kong's strength and grit.

"Apart from just living, I wondered what drives me? So I began to chase that, knowing that there was a possibility I could climb mountains, even in a wheelchair," Lai said.

"In a way, I forgot that I was a disabled person, I could still dream and I could still do what I liked doing."

Although he did not make it to the top of the skyscraper, due to safety concerns, Lai hoped to send a message.

"Some people don't understand the difficulties of disabled people, some people think that we are always weak, we need help, we need assistance, we need people's pity," Lai said.

"But, I want to tell everyone, it doesn't have to be like that. If a disabled person can shine, they can at the same time bring about opportunity, hope, bring about light, they don't have to be viewed as weak."

Add a Comment

drivesouth-pow-generic-1.png

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter