The surprising transformation of the little girl with her lower body being a basketball

In 2005, Tien Hong Diem (born 1996, from Yunnan, China) became a social network phenomenon when a series of photos of her moving with basketball “legs” spread. Many people felt sad and sympathized with her difficult situation as well as admired her strength.

Five years earlier, the girl had a serious traffic accident and had to have her entire lower body amputated to survive. “When I woke up, I couldn’t feel my lower body anymore. I told my mom to put on my shoes, but she just turned away and cried. Then I realized that I would never have the chance to wear shoes again in my whole life,” Tien Hong Diem recounted. .

After being discharged from the hospital, she could not sit for a long time, could not go anywhere or take care of herself. From a bright, active little girl, her future seemed to collapse before her eyes. Because of her difficult family situation, her parents were unable to buy a prosthetic leg for Hong Diem. In order for her to be able to move on her own, her grandfather had to cut a part of the basketball to fit her and make two additional wooden arms.

Determined not to surrender to fate, Tien Hong Diem gradually learned to adapt to her “new legs” and changed up to 8 basketballs within 5 years. In an interview program, the girl said the gift she wanted to receive the most during Tet was a basketball. Hong Diem’s ​​honest yet innocent answer made the audience feel heartbroken.

When the images of Tien Hong Diem moving with her special legs were shared on social networks, it immediately attracted a lot of public attention. Since then, the name “basketball girl” has been associated with the girl born in 1996.

Thanks to her unexpected popularity, in 2007, Tien Hong Diem received free prosthetic legs and went for rehabilitation treatment at the Beijing Rehabilitation Research center. With the help of benefactors, she was able to complete her elementary education. Also during this time, fate continued to smile on the energetic girl. She was accepted into the national swimming club for people with disabilities. Don’t waste the opportunity Tien Hong Diem practices swimming 10,000m every day for 4 hours. To become an athlete, she tried many times harder than others. With the flexibility and strength of her arm and abdominal muscles and her efforts in training, Tien Hong Diem gradually proved her ability.

In 2009, she won 1 gold medal and 2 silver medals at the national swimming tournament for people with disabilities. A year later, she continued to “reap” 3 silver medals at this competition. However, in 2011, she received a big shock before the Paralympic qualifiers when she received news that her grandfather suddenly passed away. This greatly affected Hong Diem’s ​​psychology and performance when she only won 1 bronze medal and could not advance to the next round.

Disappointed, bored and pressured by not being able to satisfy fans’ expectations, she decided to return to her hometown to live for a while. The “basketball girl” admits that becoming famous too early brings many opportunities but also brings a lot of pressure.

Three years later, in September 2014, Tien Hong Diem returned to the green track and won the championship at the 2014 Paralympics in the 100m breaststroke category. Talking about the reason for her love and decision to stick with swimming, she confided: “Other students can run and play, but I can’t, but in the swimming pool, I and everyone else are the same. This is the reason why I like swimming.”

In 2019, Tien Hong Diem announced her retirement, but she still harbors the dream of becoming a coach to help many other people with disabilities. Currently, she is an official employee of a disability support center, always helping people with an innocent smile and enthusiasm.

Sharing about her personal love story, the 24-year-old girl only shyly admitted that she “didn’t dare to think about it”. Tien Hong Diem’s ​​story has inspired many people. She is considered a symbol of efforts to rise and inspire young people.

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