Towards the end of the celebrity racecar rehearsal which took place in Ju Hai, China, this July Christine Kuo lost control of her vehicle. Her car flipped three times sideways and toppled upside down before it came to a standstill. Within minutes, Christine was surrounded by the crew and rescue team and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. When the sight of her broken vehicle towed pass us, it literally sent shivers up our spines. People went from being on an adrenaline high to dreadful silence.
Later on we heard the good news, Christine had escaped seemingly unharmed. During the briefing the following day, the organising committee explained that Christine was very fortunate not to have lost her arms because of the way she hung on to the top panel when the vehicle toppled.
After being released from the hospital, many were shocked and surprised when Christine appeared the following day at the VIP deck. When I conveyed my regards, she politely thanked me and apologised for have caused any unnecessary worries (she didn’t even know me!). Later when we met again during a break, I took the opportunity to ask Christine about her experience, in particular, what it was like to be given a second chance to live. Christine didn’t give me a direct answer; I didn’t think she had fully grappled the scale of the miracle that had happened. It probably had not sunk in yet.
However, she did tell me that she was thankful to be alive. She further explained that she hadn’t fathomed the seriousness of the accident until she opened her eyes and saw everyone rushing to her rescue. Looking back, she was more relieved that she had not caused any harm to other drivers during the accident, than about escaping this possible tragedy. While it was a short exchange, this conversation has left a lasting impression on me for so many reasons.
For example, when I told her that she should have stayed at home to rest, she responded that she wanted to be there to show her support and to demonstrate her sportsmanship. Even though she was not racing, she wanted to be at the rehearsal until the very end (Yes, it was only a rehearsal).
I asked Christine if she would ever drive again after this episode. Her answer not only surprised me, it inspired me. Despite her fear, she told me that she was looking forward to returning to the racetrack again soon. No doubt this incident had shaken her, but in her own words, she wanted to “stand up again on the exact place where she’d fallen”.
As alluring as Christine was as a celebrity, I was not really that starstruck when I first met her. But after this short exchange, Christine’s courage, attitude and her positive outlook on life made a lasting impression on me – she won herself a loyal fan in me.