The Spirit of China – Lin Hao

It was a day that was filled with horror.  On May 12th, 2008, a massive earthquake measuring 7.9 on the richter scale hit the Sichuan province in China, killing over 70,000 people.  Before the earthquake, 9 year old Lin Hao sat in his 2nd grade classroom, among 30 students.  When the earthquake struck, the entire building collapsed on Lin Hao and his classmates.  But before Lin Hao escaped the rubble, he went back into the pile of rubble and was able to save two of his classmates.  When asked why he risked his life to save others, he said, “I was the hall monitor, it was my job to look after my classmates…”

Lin Hao was thrust into the spotlight Friday night at the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing.  Lin Hao, holding the hand of the towering 7 foot 6 inch Yao Ming, helped lead the entire Chinese Olympic team into the arena before the official lighting of the torch.  Before the Opening Ceremonies concluded, Yao Ming was interviewed on NBC live television about what it meant to have the Olympics in Beijing.  Then, the interviewer put Lin Hao on the spotlight (who was being carried by Yao), and Yao Ming mentioned how Lin’s act showed how even a 9 year old had the mindset to protect his friends, and how he could pass this story onto his children and grandchildren.

In the midst of all the controversy of the Olympics, it was great to see the spotlight fall on such a noble and humble act by a child.  Lin Hao’s parents must have been proud while they watched their son being carried by Yao through the stadium.  But most importantly, it (hopefully) put everyone’s mind on a simple act that represented an entire country as they open the Olympics.  I hope this is a reminder to everyone that the Olympics is more than a tradition of sports and excellence, but also about the deep value of intrinsic life in every human being.

The Opening Ceremonies sure did give me goosebumps, I can’t wait for the festivities to begin!

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12 Responses to “The Spirit of China – Lin Hao”

  1. Just to let you know. I agree with your assesment of the opening ceremonies and how Lin’s bravery will hopefully be the beginning of something wonderful (though I have my own issues with this). My only reason for writing is to let you know though I am sure his parents would be quite proud, according to Chinese news reports both were lost in the quake.

    “Having lost both parents, he fled the quake with his 14 years old big sister and another little sister, hiked 7 hours to Dujiangyan. “

  2. the poor boy’s parents apparently didn’t survive the earthquake….

  3. strawberrylulu Says:

    Thanks for the story. I couldn’t have agreed more. I cried watching it. It was so moving and I was so proud they did such an incredible job.

  4. I thought the story of Lin Hao is great but I do have one question. Does anyone know about his family? There are several conflicting reports; some saying that his parents died and he hiked to a near town with a younger sister and and older sister (something like 17) and then others saying that his parents lived.

  5. twonateshow Says:

    Regarding Lin Hao’s parents, this is just a reminder that parents can still be proud, especially when there is a life after the grave 🙂

  6. Look closely at the picture. the boy is carrying a chinese flag that’s UPSIDE DOWN. that’s an international distress call and apparently someone thought to send that message through at the opening ceremony.
    i blogged about it and posted a picture. in 20 minutes the photo was removed from the stock repository i used. someone clearly didn’t want this known.
    i still have the image though –
    http://www.kidshealthnotes.com/2008/08/09/2008-beijing-olympics-opening-ceremony-story-of-heroism-history-and-crisis/

  7. Lin hao’s parents are doing fine, they are those of millions migrant workers in china, when earthquake happened, lin hao’s parent were in another city. But his grand-father and youngest sister didnt survive.

    There were 30 kids in lin hao’s class, only ten survive, two of them were saved by lin hao, when he rushed back to collapsed building tried to save other kids, he was buried into the rubble again and finally rescued by the school principal.

  8. twonateshow Says:

    Regarding Grace’s comment – thanks for your post. There are alot of conspiracies in sports as well. Like whether or not Gaylord Perry put vasoline under his baseball cap to effect the movement of the ball. Or that the 1991 Minnesota Twins won the World Series because the janitor in the Twins stadium switched the flow of the air in the stadium when the Twins came to the plate. But these theories still dont change how I feel about the Lin Hao story!

  9. pacer521 Says:

    Hey twonateshow

    I’m a 13 year old sports freak as well but because I have more influence over politics, culture, and news, I blog about that as well. (thats another story). A actually wrote a similar post about the opening ceremony that you guys might want to check out. Thanks for your time.
    http://culturedecoded.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/thoughts-on-the-opening-ceremony/
    pacer521

  10. […] The Spirit of China – Lin Hao It was a day that was filled with horror.  On May 12th, 2008, a massive earthquake measuring 7.9 on the richter scale […] […]

  11. Richard, Boston MA Says:

    Every time I read about this boy I can’t help but well up. He is such a humble young man. I hope and pray for him and the family members he has lost.

  12. Susan Saviour Says:

    Very objective one. Good job. I like it.

    Yes, Lin Hao was only a representer of all the other heroes. Don’t give too more than others, or it is not fair to the other heroes, especially those who lost their lives while rescuing.

    The price he paid and the good things he would get should be proportional.

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