Behind the spotlight

Shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh and powerlifter Le Van Cong received a hero’s welcome home from fans and words of praise from the public after making history as Vietnam’s first Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists, respectively.1``

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However, there still remain unfulfilled promises ahead of them with their families as well as cherished dreams which have yet to be realised.

Successive dreams

Hoang Xuan Vinh acknowledged that his life has changed dramatically since returning home from the Rio Olympics with the historic gold medal and the status of an Olympic record holder in the men’s 10m air pistol event. He is always a focus of attention wherever he appears. 

The cash bonus totalling nearly VND6 billion (US$264,000) has given Vinh a “headache” on how to use it to ensure benefits for both his family and the community.

Despite receiving a lot of invitations for commercials and sponsorship, Vinh devotes most of his attention to charity work. 

After only a short period of time, the military shooter and his national trainer Nguyen Thi Nhung founded a charity fund called “Glory and gratefulness”. The fund is a significant charity campaign that Vinh has been planning over the years with the view of paying tribute to the homeland, particularly Quang Tri province where he was born and grew up. 

He has expressed hope that the charity fund would receive joint hands from the community and become widely popular.

After carving his name in the history of Vietnamese sport, there remain a lot of dreams waiting to be realised by Vinh.

“I have always cherished the dream of opening a modern shooting range so that people will be able to practise shooting. It is truly a lifetime milestone that far surpasses the medals. The Olympic achievement will only be remembered if it creates a boost to the development of the national sport,” he said.

Vinh’s humble and respectable nature has lead him to become a real champion in the hearts of fans.

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Powerlifter Le Van Cong celebrates after winning the men's 49kg competition in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

A deserving reward

While Hoang Xuan Vinh is a flawless image, Le Van Cong’s persistent fighting spirit to overcome disabilities is a bright example in sports. The awe-inspiring journey of the Ha Tinh-born powerlifter was truly a miraculous campaign of overcoming difficulties.

Four months have gone by and the Paralympic gold medal still seems like a dream to Cong. The lifter weighing less than 49kg said that he was touched when the Vietnamese flag was raised at the Paralympic arena.

It was the moment that he had been waiting for, for such a long time. In that proud moment, Cong did not forget to send deep thanks to his trainer, the sporting sector and home fans. Particularly, he thought of his wife and children, who always stood by him whenever he was faced with difficulties.

“My older son is six years old this year, while my daughter is nearly two. I had promised to take them to school on the opening day of the new academic year but failed to stay true to my word because of the Rio Paralympic competition. I was determined to bring a medal home as an apology to my children, and I did it,” Cong narrated.

After receiving a record bonus of nearly VND1 billion (US$44,000) from different sources, the first thing Cong thought of was charity. Having experienced many tough days due to losing the use of his legs, Cong thoroughly understands the inferiority and disadvantages of those with disabilities like him. He believed that as modest as his contribution is, it is an appeal for joint hands from the community to support people in disadvantaged circumstances.

It is often said that God does not give everything to anyone and does not rob anyone of everything. Fate deprived Cong of his legs but left him with a lot of other things: the innate quality of a champion, abundant happiness in a small family full of laughter as well as a kind heart.

Nhan Dan

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