Asia Wire

Disabled Woman Athlete In The Front Line Of Disaster Relief Following Floods

A one-legged disaster relief worker has become a viral hit online while working recently to help people in Henan.

The one-legged woman named Tang Qi is a member of the Pizhou Brigade of the Xuzhou Falcon Rescue Team, and was one of those that rushed to help when flooding devastated large parts of China’s Henan province.

She was first seen in action taking supplies down to Xinxiang where it rained non-stop for three days, dumping all of the water that they would normally see in a year in a short period of time.

This disabled woman volunteers during floods in Henan, China. (TQ521888/AsiaWire)

It left many people homeless and the young woman was working round the clock to help out despite her own disability, where images of her started to go viral.

As interest in her grew it was revealed that she is a disabled track bike Gold Medallist at the World Championships, and she certainly needed all her fitness in order to tackle the disaster.

She said she was grateful that people were kind but she was only doing her job and her duty.

This disabled woman volunteers during floods in Henan, China. (TQ521888/AsiaWire)

But she is glad that she was an award-winning athlete saying: “Yes, I used to be an athlete, the country has trained me for many years, now that the country needs it, I should come forward.”

She was on the ground in Xinxiang from 22nd of July, and after dealing with the worst of it she retired to Pizhou where locals offered to provide more supplies so she took part in taking four loads down to the disaster-hit area.

She then moved to Henan Weihui where she and other members of the Falcon rescue team went to carry out more disaster relief assistance.

This disabled woman volunteers during floods in Henan, China. (TQ521888/AsiaWire)

She and her team were getting by with three or four hours of sleep every night for the next few days, and her main role became coordinating the assistance of people that are trapped or stranded, and logistics working making sure essential supplies and materials were getting through.

But whenever she could she was getting hands dirty also helping people and even moving the surprise herself, as can be seen in many of the videos.

She said: “Many people’s homes are gone, even getting something to eat is a problem. When I saw the helpless eyes of the victims, I felt very uncomfortable. Seeing the residents give us food, I felt extremely warm again. I feel that no matter how hard it is these days, no matter how tired it is, it is worth it.”

This disabled woman (pictured front) volunteers during floods in Henan, China. (TQ521888/AsiaWire)

At the age of three, Tang Qi lost her leg when she suffered a serious traffic accident.

At that time, the young Tang Qi spent eight months in the hospital and spent all her family savings.

Tang Qi’s father left his family without saying goodbye leaving her alone with her mother and two sisters.

A beautiful disabled woman volunteers during floods in Henan, China. (TQ521888/AsiaWire)

Although living in poverty, Tang Qi was not overwhelmed by the hardship of life, but worked harder. “At that time, I just wanted to change myself. Although my leg was disabled, I also wanted to become better.”

Tang Qi said that when she was in elementary school, because the school was far away from home, her mother saved her money and bought a second-hand bicycle for her. It was this dilapidated second-hand bicycle that made her fall in love with cycling and laid the foundation for the road to sports in the future.

After Tang Qi retired in 2012, she first opened a farm, but the process was not smooth, so she rented the farm to someone else and has since been helping others.

A beautiful disabled woman volunteers during floods in Henan, China. (TQ521888/AsiaWire)

Tang Qi also has two daughters, one is eight years old and the other is three years old, and she raises them as a single mother.

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