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We just need a platform where we can shine

By Li Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-15 09:45
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Huang Bo works with a client at a gym in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Huang Bo, 23, a visually impaired fitness instructor in Nanchang, Jiangxi province

I was born with impaired vision; my eyesight is only 10 percent that of an able-bodied person.

Living in an isolated, impoverished village in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, meant I didn't get any formal education until I was 12. Then, I attended a school for the blind in Nanchang, the provincial capital.

In 2010, I was selected for the provincial blind judo team. At the time, I knew that most people like me would become masseurs, and being selected for the team gave me hope of leading a different life.

I did well as a judo player. In 2015, I won second place in the blind judo tournament at the Ninth National Games of China. Still, I lagged far behind the gold medalist, so I decided to retire from the team.

A friend introduced me to a gym where he worked, and I was employed because of my outstanding physique.

I had concerns about my clients, so at the beginning I wore dark glasses and pretended that I could see well. After all, I was poorly educated and had eye issues-I didn't want them to look down on me. Later, I discovered that they were not mean people, so I abandoned the pretense.

I don't think people like me should be pitied. Any financial relief we receive is just temporary. Instead, we just need a platform where we can shine. In many cases, we can do jobs just as well as our able-bodied counterparts.

Huang Bo spoke with Li Lei.

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