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Liu from Chinese Taipei realizes his shooter dream in wheelchair
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21:31, September 12, 2008

Although the shooter Liu Wen-Chang from Chinese Taipei failed to gain medals from his second Paralympics, he didn't reveal too much disappointment.

In fact, appearing on the shooting range, Liu in wheelchair has already realized his childhood dream.

"I love shooting. I think it is masculine to hold a gun," said the man who, with a pair of glasses, appears more like a scholar.


Born in 1964 in Taipei, Liu had been fascinated by toy guns in his childhood.

"It has firecrackers inside, and when you pulled the trigger, you can hear the sound, very thrilling," he recalled.

For this reason, the boy longed for joining the army before he realized that he could never get this experience -- the polio he had at the age of three deprived him of the ability to walk normally.

"Therefore, before schooling, I could only creep on the floor," he smiled and gestured as if telling an interesting story.

But listeners could imagine how bitter the experience was at that time.

Before going to primary school at the age of seven, he had an operation to use braces so as to stand up.

However, he still needed his mother to send him to school and his classmates to carry him up or down the stairs.

"It was quite difficult," Liu well remembered once a typhoon lashed the island with heavy rain, and his mother carried him on the back and trudged in deep water which submerged her knees.

"I was self-contemptuous then," he said, especially seeing his two brothers and a sister rush out to play.

With time passing by, Liu entered college with the major as advertisement designing, but troubles still lingered -- he found it hard for him to land a satisfactory job.

Opportunity came in 1995, when his doctor who was at the same time member of a shooting club, invited him to join.

As shooting is not a popular sport in Taiwan and there are not too many shooters, he was selected to compete in the World Cup at the end of that year.

"I met a lot of foreign shooters who were in similar condition like mine," he said.

Seeing their winning medals, the newcomer was envious. "I will do likewise," he promised to himself.

Since then, the shooter became more diligent in training, and bagged two gold medals from Asian Paralympics.

"More and more I compete, I had my horizon broadened," he said. "The good results I achieved and the new friends I made boosted my confidence, making me optimistic."


The shooter on a self-devised motor-wheelchair had a camera in his bag, in which there were pictures of his two daughters: one is eight and the other five.

He also showed a video clip, with his wife in pink shirt laughed while wishing him and his friends good luck.

"Our encounter was miraculous," he grinned. "Once I just finished swimming, a beautiful lady approached and said hello to me."

Later Liu knew that she simply got the wrong person.

"But she is just the kind of person I am looking for. You know, I have already paid attention to her in the swimming pool," he said half-jokingly.

The lady was also disabled after an illness destroyed her nerves for sports when she was a sophomore.

In 1999, they got married, and he invited her to shoot as well.

"Believe it or not, we went to the shooting range even with our second daughter who was just two months old," he said.

Although this time, Liu failed to get medals, he said he still has chance in the future.

"I will shoot as long as I can," he said.


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