Liu Yan, considered one of the top classical dancers in China, was seriously injured while practicing a solo routine for the opening ceremony for the Olympics in Beijing, and she may be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of her life. On July 27, the 26-year-old dancer was practicing in the National Stadium when a platform malfunctioned and she fell 10 feet, landing on her back and suffering nerve and spinal damage. At the moment, she cannot feel anything below her chest, and she cannot move her lower body. Organizers for the opening ceremonies initially told witnesses and friends to not disclose the accident until after the Olympic Games, but news began to leak after several newspapers began inquiring about Liu. [NY Times]
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