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!