Ovation: Crowd Surfing In A Wheelchair.
Never having been a fan of large crowds, when I go to concerts I prefer a venue with assigned seating. I have, however, been to several outdoor events that I enjoyed very much. I remember seeing a young Christina Aguilera perform an outdoor concert and thinking that she would become a huge star. Another outdoor even that I really enjoyed was a concert by Shania Twain at the height of her popularity when everyone knew all the words to every song that she sang.
Still I found myself enjoying the show from a safe distance, never close to the stage or where I felt I would be in someone else’s way, and certainly where I wouldn’t be expected to “crowd surf”!
Twenty-five-year-old Los Angeles man, Ryan Chen, was instantly paralyzed from the waist down as the result of a snowboarding accident in 2009 and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. But his physical limitations haven’t stopped him from living a life full of adventure and joy. This week, a photograph of Chen crowd surfing in his wheel chair at a concert went viral and it brings a tear to my eye.
“Epic moment for Ryan Chen, Young the Giant and my camera!” – Jeff Kravitz, President of FilmMagic.com
The photo was taken by Jeff Kravitz last year at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco where Chen and his friend James Marcus Haney, a filmmaker, had snuck in. The pair had befriended members of Young the Giant, an indie rock band appearing at the festival, and they all agreed that it would be a wonderful experience of Chen tried to crowd surf when the band played their song “My Body”. The band learned about the photo, too.
“It was pretty amazing, looking out onto a sea of people and seeing Ryan being propped up on his wheelchair. Ryan has an incredible attitude about life and is almost always the happiest person in the room.” – Members of Young the Giant via Reddit
The look of pure joy on Chen’s face is remarkable in itself but I find the smiles in the audience equally wonderful … even those whose view he’s blocking!
I can’t imagine the emotions the man in this photo is experiencing.
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