Born prematurely with legs that were too small to use he grew up experiencing stigma and social prejudice in his local village.

Living 4km away from his nearest school Van Cong’s father carried him every day until he decided to make his way by himself leaving early in the morning to avoid prying eyes.

After finishing school he sat an exam to enter the Pedagogical University of Ho Chi Minh City. However, they did not accept students with disability and so he began studying and working and then teaching at a wood workshop

To keep fit he exercised at the Tan Binh Training Centre where he was spotted by a weightlifting coach. He began powerlifting at the age of 19 and now holds the world record in his weight class which he claimed on the opening day of the Asian Championships in Almaty.

Quote: “I was born unidentified. Sport gives me a name and a life.

“Nothing can break you unless you let it, push your limits and change your life forever!”

He says his young family continue to motivate him to improve his performance

There is a strong team of Vietnamese para-powerlifters who continue to compete on the world stage

Age 31
Country Vietnam
Sport Powerlifting
Class 49kg

2015: Gold medal at the Weight lifting Asian Championships, Almaty

Breaking the world record for his weight class by lifting 182kg

2014: Gold at the ASEAN Para Games, Myanmar setting the record at 181kg