Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Most Amazing Armless People (Part 1)


The Armless Motorcycle Rider

A motorcyclist received a caution from police officers in China - for riding with no arms. Officers in Jimo, Shandong province, stopped the motorcycle for being overloaded - but were shocked when they saw the driver, reports the Qilu Evening Post. Liu, 27, lost both arms at the age of seven after an electric shock. 

When he was 10, his parents sent him to a local circus to learn skills, and from then on, he trained himself to ride a motorcycle without arms. Liu admitted that he had been riding his adapted motorcycle for 10 years without arms - and he didn't even have a license.

He said the circus where he worked had closed down three years ago and he and two other disabled circus workers had been performing on the streets ever since. Police decided against fining him because he didn't have any money but issued him a serious warning. Liu promised them he would not ride motorbikes again.


The Armless Archer 

When Mark Stutzman, of Richland, unzipped his bow case and began assembling his compound bow, it drew a lot of attention from some of the other shooters. There is nothing special about Stutzman's bow, case or the tools he uses to put them together with and nothing extra ordinary about his arrows. What was drawing their attention was that Stutzman, 28, was doing all of this - with his feet. Armless from birth and adopted into a family with seven brothers and sisters, Matt has never let his disability slow him down. He does everything with his feet — eat, drive (non-modified vehicles, even stick shifts), write (more legibly than most people), and punch the keys on his cell phone faster than most people with their fingers. He began getting serious about his archery when he was 16.

Shooting in bigger tournaments has meant learning to adjust to people watching him. His normal shooting position is seated in a chair holding the bow with his right foot. He uses a mechanical release attached to a sling around his right shoulder. To pull the trigger, he uses his jaw. When he shoots in tournaments, he doesn't enter as a disabled shooter. He shoots along with everyone else. His average scores are good enough, he said, that he's a contender for the 2012 Olympic team.


The armless piano player who won China's Got Talent

When Liu Wei first hit the stage on China's Got Talent, you could hear a pin drop, and there wasn't a dry eye in the thousand-strong crowd. Armless pianist Liu Wei, winner of China's Got Talent, plays piano with his toes. Sure, Liu Wei started his run on the show by playing a super sad song on the piano called “Mariage D'amour” by Richard Clayderman. But what actually silenced everyone was that Liu Wei didn't have arms…he played the song with his toes. On Oct. 10, 2010, it was announced, to nobody's surprise, that the Beijing prodigy won the competition, earning him a three-week tour in Las Vegas with Iggy favorite Jolin Tsai. Liu Wei lost both of his arms years ago when he was electrocuted during a game of hide and seek. He said playing piano with his feet was hard at first and it gave him cuts and cramps, but he mastered the instrument over time.

After his first performance he told judges with a winning adorable grin: “There's no rule that says piano can only be played with hands.” And if there was, it's officially broken.



The Street Armless Calligrapher

On May 19, 2010, at noon, an amazing scene on the pedestrian bridge walkway in front of the south entrance to Foxconn Corporation, Shenzhen, captured people's eyes. From Shandong province, an optimistic man with no arms used his feet and wrote down some inspirational words in Chinese calligraphy for the Foxconn employees, to advice them not to do any more foolish things – jumping off buildings and committing suicide. During 2010 there were at least 10 consecutive suicides of Foxconn employees. The armless man wrote, “To brothers and sisters of Foxconn, life is priceless, ought to fulfill filial duty, there is always a way out, harmony relies on oneself”. This man's action soon attracted a number of Foxconn employees who were passing by on their way home from work. Many expressed support and appreciation, some stepped forward asking for the inspirational pieces.

The armless man claimed that a few years ago when he was a chef in Beijing, a gas explosion made him severely disabled. After several surgical procedures, luckily he was able to live. But his parents raised him in many difficulties, in order to fulfill his filial duty, and to carry the load for his parents he practiced hard at writing using his feet. His actions not only motivated many people across the country, but also fully paid for his huge medical bills. Recently he was heartbroken when he heard the news on Foxconn employees' ten suicides. He thought these able young bodies should think about the filial responsibility and social responsibility. He hopes they will not do any more foolish things, heaven never seals off all the exits (天无绝人之路) – there is always a way out.


Armless Wrestler

Kyle Maynard is not your average scholar athlete. Kyle was a top wrestler at his high school and also near the top of his class academically. He also attended the University of Georgia. Why talk with him? Kyle is an inspiration to anyone who ever had a challenge to overcome. Kyle was born without elbows or knees - the result of a rare disorder.

Maynard now works as a speaker for the Washington Speaker's Bureau, specializing in motivational speeches. He is also the author of the memoir No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life.

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