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Macao figure skater beats cancer to compete in National Winter Games

Ho Chi Hin didn’t bring home any medals, but the twenty-four-year-old athlete did make an inspiring comeback after defying a rare form of blood and bone marrow cancer.

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ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

Local figure skater Ho Chi Hin may not have won his event at the 14th National Winter Games, but he still emerged from the rink triumphant. “I’ve achieved my goal of skating through my program,” the twenty-four-year-old cancer survivor told Xinhua.

Soon after competing in China’s last National Winter Games, held in 2016, Ho was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the state-run news agency reports. He spent more than two years in and out of Macao and Hong Kong hospitals until an umbilical cord blood transplant finally stabilised his rare condition.

Ho told Xinhua that the thought of figure skating kept him upbeat throughout that frightening period. “I couldn’t get on the rink for over two years, but in my dreams, I often saw myself on ice, landing the jumps that had been easy for me when I was healthy,” he said.

After his life-saving transplant, in between chemotherapy appointments, Ho returned to the ice rink – though his doctor forbade any strenuous movements.

[Read more: The National Winter Games are now underway]

Still too weak to skate to his former level, Ho decided to spend his time introducing beginners to the sport. “For teaching children, I only needed to help them slowly slide on ice, and I could also strengthen my muscles [at the same time],” he explained.

As Ho’s strength returned, he believed he’d be able to compete in the 2024 National Winter Games. Xinhua reports that Ho travelled from Macao to Zhuhai’s sizable ice rink three times a week in preparation, practising with his teammates.

With the 2024 National Winter Games in Inner Mongolia behind him, Ho told the news agency he plans to skate competitively for another two years before switching to coaching. He also expressed the desire to better incorporate sports into Macao’s tourism industry.

“My major at university is tourism management, and I would like to combine tourism with sports to show the features of Macao, and I would like to start with figure skating,” he said.

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