Watching the Olympics is always inspirational to me. But tonight I found a bit of extra inspiration from little Lin Hao, who walked aside the giant Yao Ming as the Chinese athletes toured the great National Stadium in the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Lin Hao is 9 years old. He was at school in YingXui, one of the hardest hit areas of the recent earthquake in China. 20 of his 30 classmates perished when the building collapsed and trapped him and two friends in a corridor during the quake. According to the BBC (here), he said “The corridor collapsed as I was walking. Two of my classmates were trapped beside me. I tried as hard as I could to climb out, and after I had climbed out I pulled a classmate out.”
That classmate was unconscious, and after carrying him to safety, he went back and carried the second (also unconscious) to safety. When asked about his heroism, he replied that he was a class leader, he was the ‘hall monitor’ after all. According to some reports, still later he encouraged his fellow surviving students to sing songs in order to keep up their spirits while they awaited rescue and aid.
Then, having lost both his parents (see note below), he left the area with his two sisters, hiked 7 hours to Du Jiang Yan (some video here).
I believe there are angels among us. We have heroes in our midst, and sometimes they can be found in the most unlikely of places (even within ourselves).
To little Lin Hao, who sets an example of courage, commitment, and love, in the face of trial and turmoil, I say thank you. You inspire me. Welcome to my list of heroes.
Note: Linda, Lin Hao’s Godmother clarifies in her comments below that Lin’s parents survived. Also below are comments from little Lin Hao himself!
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