Like many of you, I was completely blown away by the beauty of the opening ceremonies of the U.S. Olympics. Even though I'd had deep reservations about the Olympics being held in China, I backpedaled when it came to actually boycotting the games, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them.
Sadly, there have been a number of sad stories to come out of the games, and this one, about Liu Yan--one of China's leading classical dancers who was paralysed during rehearsals for the opening ceremony--really got to me. Liu Yan, a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy and winner of the Lotus Cup, was seriously injured after falling from a faulty platform during rehearsals. She was rushed to hospital, where she underwent a series of emergeny operations, but when she woke up, she had no feeling from the waist down.
Zhang Yimou, the artistic director of the ceremonies, expressed sorrow about her injuries:
“I feel sorry for Liu Yan, my heart is full of regrets,” he said in an interview. “I’m deeply sorry. Liu Yan is a heroine. She sacrificed a lot for the Olympics, for me, for the opening ceremony.”
“I regret many things, many details of this performance, many things I could have done better,” he said. “For example, there are performers who were injured. I blame myself for that. It might well have been avoided if I had given more detailed instructions.”
The Beijing Olympics committe initially tried to keep Liu Yan's injury a secret, but news broke about her accident and they agreed to hold a news conference on the subject.
Liu Yan's Doctors believe she will never walk again. Performing in the Olympics was a dream for this girl, and now she simply hopes she'll be able to stand once again her own two feet.
Here's a video of her dancing before the accident:
What a tragic loss for Chinese dance.