Having won gold medals at the London and Rio Paralympic Games in 2012 and 2016, Song Maodang, born in Tonglu county, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in 1993, decided to switch roles and contribute to the 19th Asian Games.
“I used to be an athlete first and foremost, but now, I will continue to contribute to the sporting world as a volunteer. Such a unique experience makes me even more proud to make contributions to the Asian Games,” Song said.
Song lost his right arm in an accident when he was eight years old. He never let his disability hold him back.
Encouraged by his teacher and classmates, Song fell in love with swimming in 2007 and was selected as part of the Zhejiang Provincial Disabled Persons’ Physical Training Team the next year.
One cannot sit back and wait for their life to improve, they must move forward step by step – this is Song’s motto and it has guided him throughout his swimming career. Aside from strength training, Song swam at least 10,000 meters every day.
His dedication secured him tickets to a number of international events, and he won back gold medals in the men’s 4*100 m mixed relay for swimming at the London 2012 Paralympics and broke the world record in the men’s 100 m butterfly in S8 class at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
“The ancient Chinese saying goes ‘One who survives a great disaster is destined to good fortune forever after’. My interpretation is that my dreams will eventually come true if I put in the work,” Song said.