A paraplegic man in a wheelchair climbed a Hong Kong skyscraper for over 10 hours in order to raise funds for spinal cord patients, Reuters reported Sunday.
Lai Chi-wai, 37, who was paralyzed in a car accident in 2011, ascended 250 meters of skyscraper while in a wheelchair on Saturday, Reuters reported. Lai was unable to reach the summit of the Nina Tower in the Kowloon peninsula, which is 300 meters.
Strapped into his wheelchair, climber Lai Chi-wai pulled himself more than 250 meters of Nina Tower, becoming the first man in Hong Kong’s history to scale a building in a wheelchair https://t.co/yE2q4Y6UGF pic.twitter.com/jtcfwELLF3
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 18, 2021
“I was quite scared,” Lai said, according to Reuters. “Climbing up a mountain, I can hold onto rocks or little holes, but with glass, all I can really rely on is the rope that I’m hanging off.”
Lai’s climb raised HK$5.2 million, or $670,639, towards charity, Reuters reported. The climber had wanted to get a message across despite being unable to get to the summit of the skyscraper because of safety concerns.
“Some people don’t understand the difficulties of disabled people, some people think that we are always weak, we need help, we need assistance, we need people’s pity. But it doesn’t have to be like that,” Lai said in a DW News video. (RELATED: Athlete Completes Entire Football Season Not Knowing He Had Leukemia)
The climber previously won the Asian Rock Climbing champion four times and was once ranked eighth-best climber in the world before his accident, according to The New York Times. Lai fastened a pulley system to his wheelchair following his accident to climb again, according to Reuters.
Lai climbed the Lion Rock mountain five years ago, which is 495-meters high and considered a symbol of Hong Kong’s strength and courage, Reuters reported.
“Apart from just living, I wondered what drives me? So I began to chase that, knowing that there was a possibility I could climb mountains, even in a wheelchair,” Lai said, according to Reuters.
“In a way, I forgot that I was a disabled person, I could still dream and I could still do what I liked doing,” Lai said, according to Reuters.
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