The first winner of China’s Got Talent had an amazing story. Liu Wei was 23 years old when he was named the champion of the show’s first season. Liu has no arms, and he played the piano with his feet.
Watch Liu’s incredible performances on the show below, and read on to find out more about his inspiring story.
Pianist With No Arms Competes On ‘China’s Got Talent’
Liu Wei lost his arms when he was 10 years old, after touching a high-voltage wire while he was playing hide-and-seek. He was in critical condition for 45 days after the incident. His parents encouraged him to learn to eat on his own so he could take care of himself.
Liu is also a swimmer, winning two gold medals and one silver medal at the National Swimming Championship for the Disabled in 2002. He learned how to play the piano at age 19 and started composing music.
Liu’s mother told him he’s no different than everyone else — he just uses his feet instead of his hands. He said he wanted to make it to the Top 3 to make his mom proud. Liu received a standing ovation from the judges in his audition.
Liu told the China’s Got Talent judges he was motivated to live a “wonderful” life, and that no one says you have to play piano with your hands. One of the judges said she would show Liu’s inspiring performance to her children.
Liu Wei Won The Competition In 2010
For his final performance on China’s Got Talent, Liu once again played the piano with his feet, and sang James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful.” He ended up being named the winner of the competition, beating 7-year-old stand-up comedian Zhang Fengxi.
Liu got emotional when he won, and shared that he had become “close friends” with fellow contestant Shou Junchao. “Though we are on the same stage I’m not pleased at having beaten him,” Liu said.
As part of his prize for winning the show, he was invited to perform with Taiwanese pop artist Jolin Tsai, with the opportunity to perform in Las Vegas.