Paralyzed former Chinese gymnast Sang Lan has said she was left feeling “confused and sad” after she was accused of being greedy and ungrateful for her new $1.8 billion USD lawsuit, she told Xinhua yesterday.
Sang suffers from paralysis from the chest down after being injured at warmups for the 1998 Goodwill Games. While doing warmups for the vault event final, she fell as she was performing a vault – tests indicated that she had fractured and dislocated severa vertebrae and injured her spinal cord.
Sang filed the suit against Ted Turner, who founded the Goodwill Games where the accident happened in 1998 in New York. She claims that they failed to make sure her medical bills were paid and other needs were met. What sparked criticism the most in China, though, isn’t Sangs lawsuit against Goodwill games, but that the defendants also include Sang’s legal guardians Liu Guosheng and Xie Xiaohong.
They, claims the former gymnast, have silenced her from speaking out about the fall, that apparently was not an accident but that someone distracted her by moving a mat while she was in mid-air. She also claims that her guardians controlled her every move, invaded her privacy and used her name and image for their business without her consent. In China, the allegations resulted in many believing that she was ungrateful for their help, others on the other hand, support Sang’s action, as they believe she is only protecting her rights.
By Nele Diels