Sports Outside the Beltway

Chinese Gymnast Wang Yang Paralyzed

A Chinese gymnast has been paralyzed after a training accident.

Chinese gymnast Wang Yan is expected to be paralyzed for life following a fall from the uneven bars during the national championships, a key warmup for the Beijing Olympics.

Wang fell headfirst Sunday during the final in Shanghai, breaking her neck and losing consciousness. Doctors said she was fortunate to have survived at all given the severity of her injury, the Shanghai Daily reported. “The patient could not react to stimulant under the chest bone, and both hands lost their capability to move,” Jia Lianshun, a bone specialist with the People’s Liberation Army medical corps, was quoted as saying.

Wang, whose age was given as 15 or 16, was second in the Chinese national all-around competition in 2005.


UPDATE: Xinhua has a bizarre report under the awkwardly translated headline “Chinese gymnast Wang on track of sentience recovery” that appears to offer good news.

Wang Yan, who dropped from uneven bars and lost consciousness on Sunday, revived the feeling of right foot and were back on track of sentience recovery, said Gao Jian, the chief of gymnastic administration center, here on Thursday.

According to Gao, Wang is getting stronger physically and the right foot regains the ability to move. “I visited Wang Yan in hospital yesterday. Wang expressed her will to cooperate with the doctor and hoped to get well soon. I suffered similar injury when I was a gymnast in 1968, so I encouraged her by taking me as an example,” said Gao.

“I can sit first and then to walk, even to continue my gymnastic career as an athlete four four years further after that injury. I had the spinal fracture in the fifth and sixth bones, while Wang is in the second and third bones, but it’s somewhat a similar case,” added Gao.

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