It took Vicky Guo (???) three and a half hours to finish a 3-kilometer swim across Sun Moon Lake Sunday, a feat that completed the amputee's three dreams of making the swim, biking around Taiwan and climbing Taiwan's highest peak -- the 3,952-meter Jade Mountain.
Guo was among 187 physically challenged people who comprised the first group of more than 20,000 swimmers from 26 countries to swim across the scenic Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan Sunday and Monday.
Guided by her coach, Guo, whose hands and feet were amputated at the age of seven due to a high fever and sepsis, strove her way to the other shore of the lake in three and a half hours.
"I take this as the best birthday gift to myself," said Guo, who turned 23 that day.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Ping-jui (???) has lauded Guo from his Xinzhuang, New Taipei constituency as a brave person who has defied her fate by demonstrating a huge love of life by training herself in music, dance and sports.
"Supported by a loving family, Guo has proved that one can create a great future for oneself even without hands and feet, and can play out a song of life that is touching and inspiring," said Wu.
Also among the group of disabled people attempting the swim was Lai Yung-chieh (???), president of the Taichung City Association for the Welfare of the Visually Impaired, who completed the cross-lake swim in 55 minutes to win first place in the group.
"It was a surprise, as I trained for only two months for this event," said Lai.
Former President Ma Ying-jeou (???) also participated in the event, completing the challenge in one hour and 38 minutes.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel