At 7 months old Panfeng contracted polio. He grew up living and studying in a special school run by the local government, providing disabled children with cultural education, skills training and rehabilitation.
In March 2000 the course of Panfeng’s life changed when his school was visited by a group of Paralympic athletes and he was introduced to table tennis.
Their skill, gold medals and pride in wearing the colours of their national team inspired him.
The school was poorly equipped. The table tennis tables were housed in a shed where temperature reached 40℃ in the summer and in the winter the cold aggravated Panfeng’s polio and he suffered from chilblains on his hands and feet.
This didn’t deter Panfeng. His skill and determination soon caught the attention of a coach, and when Beijing was named as the host city for the 2008 Paralympic Games Panfeng’s dream of following in the foot steps of the athletes who had visited his school started to become a reality.
Panfeng went on to win a gold in the singles and bronze in the team event in Beijing.
At the London 2012 Paralympic Games he achieved a first for Chinese men’s table tennis when he won gold in both the singles and team event, a feat he repeated at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Key competitive achievements:
|Paralympic Games||World Championships|
| Rio 2016|| South Korea 2010|
| London 2012|
| Beijing 2008|
Year of birth: 1989
Sport: Wheelchair Table Tennis
Career Highlights: Winning gold in the single and team events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.