Jin Jing spreads wings over Shanghai

By Tang Zhihao (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-02-02 14:01
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Beijing Olympics heroine calls on public to create 'unforgettable' expo

Everyone has the ability to affect positive change regardless of the obstacles that life has thrown along the way.

Jin Jing spreads wings over Shanghai
Jin said her disability will never slow her down. [China Daily] 

That is the motto that Beijing Olympics torchbearer Jin Jing lives by, and the can-do spirit rooted in it is one that she plans to continue to exude during the expo which opens in May.

The 29-year-old Shanghai native became popular as "the most beautiful angel in a wheelchair" after she fought off aggressive protestors in Paris to protect the Olympic torch in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Now marking a new milestone in ambassadorship, she will proudly serve her home city's six-month cultural gala as an expo volunteer.

"I am calling on public support for the Shanghai Expo, and I want to help make it an unforgettable event," said Jin.

More than just a pretty face, Jin hopes to use her influence to improve the lives of ordinary Chinese by helping them to realize that each person has what it takes to lend a hand to the expo theme of "Better City, Better Life".

Televised advertisements, running on TV as well as buses and subways, show Jin taking part in simple acts of goodwill: she helps a blind man cross the road in one ad while another has her putting garbage in a trash can instead of littering on the street.

These are all little things that everyone can do to create a better society, said Jin.

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"I want to tell the public that even I, a person with a disability, can do these things, so there should be no reason why normal people cannot do the same," she added.

In the citywide campaign running under the banner "Love Shanghai, starting from myself", Jin leads a team of people to clean up the city and encourages the young to let the elderly ahead in taxi lineups.

Reflecting on the positive effects of the 2008 Olympics on Beijing, she said she hopes the 2010 Expo will trigger similar changes in Shanghai.

Though Jin said she harbors no hard feelings toward the French, it is unlikely she will answer their call to serve as a goodwill ambassador for France during the expo.

Jin Jing spreads wings over Shanghai

"I have many other duties to perform for the Shanghai Expo, so I might not have enough time to take up that task. But I will help them with some promotional work, if they need me to," she said.

A brave Jin rose from the incident in Paris, smiling and unscathed. Unwilling to let one unfortunate event impact her view of the entire country and its people, she denounced Chinese who called for boycotts of French retail stores Carrefour in China and consequently suffered personal attacks from online Chinese communities.

She said she hopes China and France keep their friendship strong.

Jin, who is most excited about touring Africa's joint pavilion, said she has never let her disability slow her down. Having her right leg amputated at age nine due to the discovery of a cancerous growth has taught her patience.

Fabulous and single, she remains optimistic in waiting for love and what awaits her future beyond the expo. Timing is everything, she said.

"I have always believed that when God shuts one door, he opens another," she added.

Jin Jing spreads wings over Shanghai


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