The home of weightlifter Le Van Cong in Duc Hoa district, Long An province, was filled with joy in recent days. Watching Cong’s competition on a small mobile phone, Cong’s wife Chu Thi Tam said she could not forget the breathtaking moment when he lifted 181 kilos to make history by winning a gold medal. On his second attempt, he broke the world record with a lift of 182 kilos. On the third attempt, he set yet a new world record in the men’s 49kg class by lifting 183 kilos.  Ms. Tam recalled: “I was so anxious at that time. But I know him and his strong will. I believed he could do it. He is a man of few words but he has great determination”. 

Le Van Cong was born in Ha Tinh province. His legs were paralyzed at a young age. In 2005, he moved to Ho Chi Minh city and joined a vocational guidance club for the disabled. At first, he took up track and field, but then moved to weightlifting. After 2 years of training, Cong won a gold medal in the 48 kilo category at the ASEAN Para Games in 2007. In 2009, Cong was injured in an accident, and it took him 2 years to recover. He continued to achieve success, breaking the world record 3 times, and winning gold medals at the ASEAN Para Games 2014, the Asian Para Games 2014, and the Asian Championship 2015. Mr. Cong said:  “The most difficult time was when I first took up this sport. The facilities were poor, so it was hard. In 2009, I was injured in an accident, and I spent a long time overcoming the injury and recovering my strength”.

The world’s major news agencies hailed disabled athlete Le Van Cong when he lifted, 4 times his own bodyweight to break the world record. This was the first gold medal in the history of Vietnam at the Paralympics. Mr. Mai Ba Hung, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Culture and Sports, said: “Cong has done his best. He is a great example for other athletes in terms of great determination”. 

After this achievement, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent a message conveying his congratulations to the Vietnamese Paralympics delegation. The Prime Minister wrote: “I am very delighted to learn that power-lifter Le Van Cong performed exceptionally at the Paralympics Rio 2016, bagging a gold medal and breaking the world record. He is the first Vietnamese athlete with disabilities to bring glory to the country, reflecting the will, perseverance, and determination of Vietnamese youth to overcome difficulties and rise up”.

According to and