Walking the talk on the Great Wall

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2017-11-04 07:57:11

Walking the talk on the Great Wall

Accompanied by her parents, she climbs the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. [Photo/Xinhua]

Paying it forward

One person who deserved special thanks was Norman Li, a Chinese businessman who works and lives in Sydney. He sponsored Taylor's China trip.

When Li, who owns a health and skincare company, learned about Taylor's dream to climb the Great Wall, he was touched and decided to sponsor Taylor's and her family's trip to Beijing.

He then arranged a one-week visit, which also included a short trip to Shanghai. By sponsoring the trip, he told Xinhua he was expressing his gratitude.

When Li went to study in Australia about three decades ago and then started working there, he said warmhearted locals helped him in various ways.

"What I did for Taylor was also to repay those Australians who gave me a hand years ago," he said. As an old Chinese saying goes, "A drop of water in need shall be returned with a burst of spring in deed."

During her climb, a group of Chinese primary school students followed Taylor closely. Before she started out, they gave her a red rooster doll, symbolizing the Year of the Rooster according to the Chinese calendar, to bring her luck. The little gift lit up Taylor's face.

Simon said Taylor was inspired by so many people who accompanied her, their support reinforced her confidence and made the climb easier.

Toni said the Chinese were above and beyond their expectations. "China is really opening its arms, and people are so warm, kind, friendly ... They are really interested in Taylor and her story," she said.

This was also part of Li's intention - to enable foreigners to better understand China and the Chinese. "I hope they can know more about China's development. It's so different from their old perception," he explained.

Taylor now has a new mission: to train hard so that she can take part in the swimming events at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. The walk on the Great Wall has given her a booster dose of confidence she needed for that.

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