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Paralysed gymnast to sue Games 12 years on

Former Chinese gymnast Sang Lan, who was left paralysed after a fall at the 1998 Goodwill Games, is looking for an American lawyer to help her sue the organisers of the event.

Sang, then 17, broke her neck and was confined to a wheelchair for life after landing on her head during vault practice at the fourth Goodwill Games in New York.

"Poor management and bad organisation on site were the reasons for the accident," Sang wrote on her blog. "I have held back the truth for 12 years, it is now time to tell it."


A coach from another country had been removing a mattress from the landing area when she took off on the fateful jump, Sang said.

"The distraction directly caused me to hesitate and ultimately led to what I am now," she added. "I have started to collect the information about how I was distracted and injured, and the record of my contacts with the Games organisers.

"I will seek representation among American attorneys."

Sang said the Games organisers provided her with insurance to cover lifetime medical treatment, but no other compensation for her living expenses.

She also complained that neither the Chinese Gymnastic Association (CGA) nor the Games organisers had paid any attention to her living conditions back in China. "(The organisers) have acted as if it had nothing to do with them," she said.