BEIJING — A Chinese national volleyball player crashed into a wall during practice and is facing permanent paralysis, making him the second Chinese athlete in less than a week to suffer neck and spinal cord injuries.
National team volleyball player Tang Miao suffered a broken neck last week when he hit a wall while training for a friendly match in St. Petersburg, Russia, with his Shanghai-based club team, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported today.
Tang was reported to be unable to move his hands and legs and was breathing with the help of a respirator. Li Zhi, a Chinese consular official in St. Petersburg, told the newspaper that the accident occurred when Tang was attempting to play a ball that was going out of bounds.
Tang’s injury last Wednesday came three days after teenage gymnast Wang Yan broke her neck in China’s national gymnastics championships in Shanghai.
Wang was injured on June 10 when she fell from the uneven parallel bars. Another Olympic hopeful, she was reported to be making some progress following the injury but newspaper reports said she is likely facing permanent paralysis.
Wang’s injury is similar to one suffered by Sang Lan in the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York. Sang broke her neck making a practice vault.
Sang, who uses a wheelchair, is paralyzed from the chest down but will carry a torch in the Olympic torch relay when the symbolic flame passes through Beijing.