Mon, Sep 05, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Disabled swimmer completes treble with lake swim

Staff writer, with CNA

Amputee Kuo Wei-chi, front center, her mother, left, and coach, right, swim in Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County yesterday.

Photo: Hsieh Chieh-yu, Taipei Times

It took Kuo Wei-chi (郭韋齊) three-and-a-half hours to finish a 3km swim across Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) yesterday, a feat that completed the amputee’s three dreams of making the swim, biking around Taiwan and climbing its highest peak — the 3,952m Yushan (玉山), also known as Jade Mountain.

Kuo was among 187 physically disabled people who comprised the first group of more than 20,000 swimmers from 26 nations to swim across Sun Moon Lake yesterday and today.

Kuo, whose hands and feet were amputated at the age of seven due to a high fever and sepsis, strove her way to the other shore of the lake, guided by her coach.

“I take this as the best birthday gift to myself,” said Kuo, who turned 23 yesterday.

Also among the group of disabled people attempting the swim was Lai Yung-chieh (賴永傑), president of the Taichung City Association for the Welfare of the Visually Impaired, who completed the swim in 55 minutes to take first place in the group.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also participated in the event, completing the challenge in 1 hour, 38 minutes.

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