“When God closes a door, he always opens a window.” One who can stand the adversity and darkness in life will surely shine bright when the dawn breaks. Fang Xingyue, a girl from The Langham Shenzhen exemplifies such perseverance. Although she may not have been born with the same privileges as others, her beautiful smile has warmed the hearts of people around her. An Olympic gold medal is a hard-won gift and truly deserved to showcase her overcoming such hardships.
Fang, at age 20, won the gold medal for the 25-meter breaststroke swimming competition at the 14th Summer Special Olympics held in Los Angeles. However, this is not the first time that she won a medal. Four years prior, Fang had also won the gold medal in a 25-meter and 50-meter breaststroke swimming competition.
Suffering from congenital moderate mental retardation, Fang’s life was not an easy one. Her story began at the Yuan Ping Special School in Shenzhen. During that time, she found a special interest and skill in swimming, more so than her peers. With well-equipped swimming pools and professional trainers, the rigorous training she had undergone has led her to win three Olympic gold medals.
Life offered Fang yet another surprise when she was recommended for a position at the Langham, Shenzhen where she served as a Commis chef in Pastry. What she could do at the beginning was limited to some simple errands like cutting ingredients and embroidering cakes. As time went by, with the help and patience from Assistant Executive Chef Yang, Fang was able to make the Hotel’s signature dessert soufflé all by herself.
Apple Fang at work
Besides work, the hotel gave Fang more support in improving her social skills by offering her more opportunities to communicate with people. She was assigned to make delicious marshmallow desserts at the “Children’s Corner”, a buffet restaurant at the hotel. She was also quite popular with the children.
Upon learning Fang was going to compete in Los Angeles for the summer Special Olympics, the hotel was delighted to offer her strong support by approving her leave note immediately.
The Langham, Shenzhen is also home to another two physically- or mentally-challenged employees who stood out during recruitment and were hired by the hotel.
May is the month in which society calls for more attention to those with special needs.
During this month, the hotel would host its annual recruitment to offer more opportunities to disabled people in order to facilitate social fairness and harmony.