Friday, April 11, 2008

Amazingly, Not From the Onion

By Emma Graham-Harrison Reuters - Friday, April 11 10:58 am

BEIJING (Reuters) - A wheelchair-bound Chinese torch bearer has rocketed to national fame after fending off protesters in Paris, becoming a symbol of China's defiance of global demonstrations backing Tibet.

Jin Jing, a 27 year-old amputee and Paralympic fencer has been called the "angel in a wheelchair" and is being celebrated by television chat shows, newspapers and online musical videos after fiercely defending the Olympic torch during the Paris leg of the troubled international relay.

Protesters denouncing Chinese policy in Tibet threw themselves at Jin. Most were wrestled away by police but at least one reached her wheelchair and tried to wrench the torch away.

Jin clung tenaciously to what has become a controversial icon of the Beijing Olympic Games until her attacker was pulled off.

Her look of fierce determination as she shielded the torch, captured in snapshots of the scene, has now spread throughout China, inflaming simmering public anger at the protests.

"I thought we had lost in France, but seeing the young disabled torch bearer Jin Jing's radiant smile of conviction, I know in France we did not lose, we won!" said one of tens of thousands of Internet postings about the incident.


Jin, cheerful and photogenic, has emerged to embody nationalist indignation at Western criticisms and protests.

"I still feel very angry now, and I think the man was very irrational," she told Reuters in an interview.

"Hosting the Olympics is such a good thing for our country, so why do they want to ruin it?"

(Additional Reporting by Guo Shipeng, Nick Mulvenney and Sally Huang; Editing by David Fogarty)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments more than welcome!