Volunteers guide runners in overcoming adversity

By Xin Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-08 07:18
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Yao Taotao (front left) is accompanied by two volunteers at the park. WEI XIAOHAO/CHINA DAILY

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Volunteers joining the charity running group quickly realize that their charges do not easily concede defeat.

By offering their time and energy, the volunteers enable these participants to have similar experiences to those with normal vision or hearing.

Qi Longlin, 54, who is a frequent runner, often noticed visually or hearing impaired people running in Olympic Forest Park, so he joined the charity organization late last month.

He accompanied three visually impaired athletes, and during his second run, he met with Yang Kun, the fastest such runner in the charity group. Despite keeping up with Yang on the first lap, Qi was frustrated when he eventually had to stop because of Yang's faster pace.

But his mood improved when Chai Jingtai, a 47-year-old visually impaired athlete, joined him for a run.

Without paying much attention to their speed, the pair talked most of the time they were running. When they completed half a lap of the track, Chai told Qi that he lost 110,000 yuan in a scam last year.

Qi said, "If we can't control other people's behavior, why let it make us unhappy by thinking about it?" He told a story to comfort Chai, whose mood lightened as he sang a song he wrote and composed for Qi.

After bonding for about 50 minutes, the pair found that in addition to running, they had other common interests.

Qi started consulting Chai, a blind masseur, on the specific details of nutrition and the acupoints used in traditional Chinese massage.

He asked Chai, "If I accompany you on a run, can you tell me how I can further improve my health in the future?" The latter happily agreed.

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