smilemusicbingo|Feature: Soaring above Xizang: Journey of a paragliding pioneer

super2024-06-29 17:06:2410Business

LHASA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- As summer arrives, the sky over Yamdrok Lake, just about 100 kilometers from Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, becomes dotted with colorful paragliderssmilemusicbingo.

This is the busiest time of year for 39-year-old Li Shengtao, a paragliding instructor, who runs a paragliding training base at Yamdrok Lake. And he is the first Chinese to paraglide from Mount Qomolangma.

Li's journey began as a mountaineer. With a wealth of climbing opportunities, Xizang became his go-to destination. In 2016, by chance, he encountered paragliding and immediately fell in love with the sport.

With a nature talent, he mastered basic piloting skills in just half a day. "The moment I took off, I felt an incredible sense of freedom," he recalled, adding that from that day, paragliding became his passion.

After becoming proficient, Li moved to Xizang to pursue his love for paragliding. "Xizang is incredibly beautiful, perfect for flying," he said. Always seeking new challenges, he set his sights on paragliding from the world's highest peak, Mount Qomolangma.

Over the years, Li has completed numerous high-altitude flights in the snow mountains. Finally, on May 18, 2023, Li successfully glided off Mount Qomolangma's South Col from an altitude of about 8,000 meters to the base camp area on the Nepali side, becoming the first Chinese to accomplish this remarkable feat.

smilemusicbingo|Feature: Soaring above Xizang: Journey of a paragliding pioneer

"Flying over Mt. Qomolangma was a surreal experience," Li reflected, "It was just the snow-covered peaks, my glider, and me. It felt incredibly pure and beautiful. And Seeing climbers at base camp watching my flight made the moment even more special. I felt very proud to be Chinese."

In the eight years discovering paragliding, Li has worked tirelessly to promote the sport. In 2018, he opened Xizang's first paragliding base at Yamdrok Lake, allowing more people to experience the beauty of flying on the plateau.

The paragliding base not only attracts tourists from all over but also serves as a training ground for aspiring paragliders, including local Tibetan youth. His base has trained nearly 50 students so far, one of whom is Dekyi from the city of Shannan.

"In my first flight, I saw scenes I'd never seen in my lifetime, and I felt a kind of freedom I've never felt before," said Dekyi, who runs a cafe in the Yamdrok Lake scenic area, hopes to become a paragliding instructor and share the experience with more people.

In Xizang, Li found his passion, and hopes to provide more opportunities for young people like Dekyi to achieve their dreams.

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