South China Morning Post (SCMP) recently featured an interview with “King of Lion Rock” Chi-wai Lai on his epic comeback story.
Here is a brief excerpt:
In 2014, when Lai was selected as one of Hong Kong’s 10 most outstanding people, he announced his plan to climb Lion Rock – something that many thought was impossible.
On December 9 last year – exactly five years after his life-altering accident – Lai proved the naysayers wrong and hauled himself and his wheelchair up the cliff face using only his arm strength.
“I want to show others the Lion Rock spirit. Nothing can stop us if we put our mind into it,” he said.
“In the past, I did everything for myself – the scholarships and the medals. Now I have lots of ‘angels’ helping me to get through different challenges and I think it’s time for me to influence other people in a positive way,” he said. “My life is no longer just about me.”
Since the accident, Lai has given more than 80 inspiring talks to schools and communities about his experience. But there is one person that he finds it much harder to discuss it with – his five-year-old son.
“Sometimes he asks why I am always in a wheelchair and if I could be fully cured. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to lie about the fact that I am not going to fully recover,” he said, while his son climbed walls at an indoor gym.
Read the rest of the of Chi-wai Lai’s story in the SCMP article entitled “Channelling the spirit of Lion Rock: a Hong Kong climber’s journey from ‘heaven to hell’ and back again“.
Chi-wai Lai , also known as the “King of Lion Rock” in Hong Kong, was once world’s No 8 Rock Climber, 4-time winner of the Asian Rock Climbing Championship, and world’s first Chinese winner of X-Game (extreme sports).
At the age of 28, while reaching the climax of his life and enjoying the glory as the best climber in Asia, on the night of Dec 9, 2011, Lai met a devastating car accident that rendered him paraplegic in the lower part of his body. Overnight, he lost almost everything he took pride of, plunging down from the heaven to hell…
Instead of wallowing in misery, he decided he would not allow adversity to stop him from pursuing his dream.
On Dec 9, 2016, the 5th anniversary of his terrible accident, strapping himself to his wheelchair, relying on the strength of his upper body and his unbeatable determination and endurance, Chi-wai strived to climb up the Lion Rock, a symbol of Hong Kong’s spirit – persistence, resilience and unity. And, he did it! He fulfilled the promise he made to himself that he will be back to the peak of Lion Rock in five years. This meaningful and stunning act attracted a vast amount of local and overseas media coverage and swamped many influential social press and online media.
On the journey of rehabilitation, Lai started to realize the power of his optimism. He started to see how his personal experience ignite the hope of others who are at the lowest of ones’ life. Lai began to spread his story through large and small speaking events. It was his passion about inspiring others and his unwavering determination that earned him one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious awards, “Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Hong Kong”, recognizing his tremendous contribution to the society.
Chi-wai is the author of “Climbing over the High Wall of Life”. He ranks 2nd in the “10 People to Inspire You When You’re at Your Worst” video, following Nicholas Vujicic, the lime-less man.
Chi-wai is a sought-after speaker for a wide range of speaking engagements across the corporate world, government sector, non-profit-making organizations to the education sector. His clients include Manulife, Prudential, FWD and Convoy for Million Dollar Round Table and staff development training; government and disciplined services departments such as Independent Commission Against Corruption, Hong Kong Police, The Fire Department, and Correctional Services Department. Chi-wai is one of the most popular motivational speakers among youngsters. He visited numerous schools, touching the life of the students across primary, secondary schools and Universities.
Chi-wai represents brands like Columbia, Everlast and Sony. His speaking topics include:
- Conquering fear & embracing change
- Letting go of your past
- Dare to dream
- Motivating team to reach stretch goals
- Entrepreneur spirits
Contact us if you would like Chi-wai Lai to inspire your team.