Organizers: Injured ceremony dancer could be paralyzed

8/18/2008 - Olympic Sports

BEIJING -- A dancer who was injured during
a rehearsal for the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony could be
paralyzed, Games organizers said on Monday after weeks of

Games vice president Wang Wei had repeatedly said he did
not know of the dancer's medical condition after she fell on
her head and back from a 3-meter high platform.

"It was a very heavy fall," Wang said. "It will take at
least six months to find out if the dancer will be paralyzed."

Games organizers, who have had their share of criticism
regarding the Aug. 8 Opening Ceremony, had refused to comment
on the injury despite widespread media interest.

The spectacular 4-hour Opening Ceremony seen by some 1
billion people around the world was hit by controversy after it
became known that parts of a breathtaking fireworks display
were either pre-recorded or enhanced through computers.

It also turned out that a young girl singing the "Ode to
the Motherland" at the ceremony was only lip-synching for
another girl who had a better voice but was not as suitable for
television, according to organizers.

A group of children listed as being from regions across
China wearing their ethnic costumes then turned out to be all
members of the dominant Han ethnic group.

Local media have reported Opening Ceremony producer Zhang
Yimou had visited the dancer in hospital, saying he had felt
responsible for her injuries.