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American One-armed Basketball Player Visits City Hall

Mayor Ko Wen-je met with basketball players Kevin Laue and Torgrim Sommerfeldt on June 24. Laue remarked that he was impressed by the performance of local players during a three-on-three basketball match.
Laue is the first disabled basketball player playing in Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The athlete was born with a missing limb due to restriction of prenatal blood circulation. However, the physical defect did not prevent him from becoming a successful basketball player. A former Goodwill Ambassador for Disability of the United Nations, Laue is also a board member at New Jersey Special Olympics.
Likewise, Sommerfeldt also went through 6 surgeries over a period of 5 years due to a knee injury he suffered when he was 19 years old. Despite people’s doubt about his career future in basketball, he went through rehabilitation to become a professional player playing in NCAA.
Ko believes that the experience of the two athletes will motivate young people. Referring to Sapporo Agricultural College founder William S. Clark’s famous words “Boys, be ambitious,” the mayor encourages young people not to easily give up their dream even in the face of overwhelming odds.
Citing a recent soccer qualification match between the local team and Thailand at the Taipei Municipal Stadium, the mayor recalled how sport is able to unite all 18,000 spectators to root for the home team. He promised that he will attend the upcoming match between Chinese Taipei and Vietnam.