10-year-old Chinese girl with no hands wins US handwriting competition

PHOTO: Screengrab from YouTube / CBS Miami

It may seem like a Herculean task but to Sara Hinesley, 10, writing isn't a problem even if she has no hands.

Born in China, the third-grade (Primary 4) student moved to the United States in 2015 to join her new family.

She could only speak Mandarin and write Chinese characters then, but has since picked up English with the help of her 10-year-old sister, Veronica.

Her ability to write cursive won the hearts of the judges at the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest and snagged her the 2019 Nicholas Maxim award. This award is given annually to a participant with a physical, developmental, or intellectual disability.

Hinesley writes by holding her pencil between the ends of her arms and has commented in an interview that writing cursive is "kind of easy". In fact, she compares it to art.

Photo: Screengrab from South China Morning Post

"I like the way the letters are formed. It's kind of like art," she told the media.

It's also been reported that Hinesley paints, draws, and sculpts clay - all without any prosthetics.

According to her mother, Cathryn Hinesley, the determined girl rejects any help or tools - such as scissors to cut paper - that would aid her in her tasks.

Hinesley also told reporters that her daughter likes to swim and takes part in her school's chess club.

Photo: Screengrab from YouTube / CBS Miami

She said: "She moves through life in this way that you never really see her as having a disability because she has this can-do, I-can-tackle-anything attitude.

"Sara is a testament to perseverance and the human spirit. She doesn’t try to find her way to avoid an obstacle, she finds a way to complete the task."

bryanlim@asiaone.com

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