Chasing the Dream on Crutches

All that He Yi Yi dreamed of was to be a striker. His dreams were slowly turning into reality when the 9-year footballer was selected to play for the  Shenzhen Youth Team. Then when he was 12, he was recruited to play professional football in France but he never made the trip because he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and had his left leg was amputated. His dreams would have ended there but He refused to give up. The video of the 21-year-old playing football with crutches against able-bodied opponents has gone viral. The Chinese fans have dubbed him “Angel with Broken Wings”,”Ball King with one Leg “ and “ Magic Boy”.

Following the amputation, He joined the Paralympic high jump team and became champion at Chinese National Game for Disabled Persons . But his passion for football never faded. He quit track and field events and looked for opportunities to play football. But he faced rejection from organized amateur clubs. He now works at a DNA testing lab but is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to play. He uses only cheap crutches that are easily broken so as to not hurt the other players. He says that he faces bullying and teasing on the field but it hasn’t affected his morale. He tried to play in the Shenzhen Tournament this year but was not allowed to do so. The organizers, therefore, organized a friendly for him to play on November 12  during which he scored a stunning goal, the video of which was watched by millions.


He realizes his limitations – he acknowledges that he will be able to play with crutches for only another 3 years – but he’s determined to make the best  of it. To all of us who are constantly trying to find excuses, here is a man who is constantly trying not to find one.  “It is only you who can save yourself”, says He and this from a man who had every reason to lose hope,  to accept defeat. Let ‘s learn something from him because he is a true inspiration.