HONG KONG (KXAN) — In 2011, professional rock climber Lai Chi-Wai was in a car accident that paralyzed him from the hip down. On the fifth anniversary of the crash, he climbed a mountain roughly the height of the Empire State Building, strapped into his wheelchair and supported by ropes.
Now, he’s nominated for a prestigious award in honor of that feat — The Laureus World’s Best Sporting Moment of the Month. He’s the first Chinese athlete to be nominated for the recognition. Before the accident, he was a four-time champion of the Asian Rock Climbing Championships and the first Chinese person to win the X-Game’s Extreme Sports. He continues to climb outside and in the gym.
Lai says he hopes his story will inspire other athletes with disabilities to pursue their dreams.