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February 7, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

TED Talks Conference 2009

TED Talks 2009 Wrap Up

The 2009 TED Conference is underway and you can keep up here and the TED blog.

Lena Maria Klingvall lives without limits. She only has one limb. TED Staff points out “Lena is a gold-medal swimmer, a singer, a painter, a writer and a true inspiration.” Personally, I can’t wait to see the video. Something tells me it may be on par with Randy Paush’s final lecture about living your dreams.

Ethan Zuckerman eloquently highlights the passionate life of Maria Klingvall:

As a child, she discovered some things could actually be easier for her, using her feet than for peers using their hands. She tells us that chopsticks are lots easier with your feet. And swimming is a sport where arms can sometimes be an obstacle, not a benefit. As a teenager, she qualified to compete in the Swedish games. She won three silver medals, and was asked to join the Swedish swim team. She represented Sweden in the world championships, won two medals in butterfly, one in backstroke and then won four golds at the European championship in Paris.

That wasn’t enough for Klingvall. She turned to music, training as a singer and touring Europe and in Asia. She is, as they say, big in Japan, where she’s given dozens of concert tours, and where there’s a Lena Maria manga, with blue eyes, and “a perfect figure”.

Many of her friends are more fascinated by her everyday life than her more unusual achievements – her ability to knit and write caligraphy with her feet, to pump gasoline using her chin and shoulder. After she writes beautiful text with her feet and her mouth, it’s not hard to imagine that she might next pull out a rope and starting to do some tricks.

More to come….

I wonder in this era of globalization and surging influence of the East and the rising tigers, if TED talks are translated into various Chinese dialects…and other languages.

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