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Thu Kamkasomphou, the first female Laotian-French Gold Medalist in Paralympics in Beijing, China.


Thu, the second daughter of Mr. Thongsouk and Mrs. Ann Kamkasomphou, was born in Savannakhet, Laos and escaped along with her family to France in 1977 at age 10. Thu loves sport and very athletic in pretty much every sport, but only serious in soccer and ping pong (Table Tennis). Thu started as early as age 12 in both soccer and pin pong. And since there’s no female team in soccer in France, Thu then gets serious in ping pong where she can rise on her own without any partner.

Thu has played ping pong for almost three decades and has been a number one in France and Europe Champ for eight consecutive years. She competed in many world events like: World Championship Competition, Europe Championship Competition and Paralympics and lately took home to France, a gold medal in female single class 8 in Beijing, China. This is her second gold medal, the first one was in Sydney, Australia in 2000.

In a recent interview with VOA, Thu says, “I am very satisfied, very happy and honored to be the first female Laotian to represent France and I’ll never forget who I am and my origin.” Thu also told that she is now plays in both regular and Paralympics. “Since the late 1999, my legs gave me some problem that prevent me from moving as quick as I like it to be. Since then I started to play with a people who are handicap. However, I still play with a normal physical condition people.”

Thu never give up her ping pong, even her physical condition classified her as a handicap-class 8 in Paralympics. "I'll continue play ping pong, no matter what," She adds.

Thu will be meeting with the Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, in October or November for Decoration. For her future plan, she is to complete in European Championship in June 2009 and the World competition in Korea in 2010.

“My advice to younger generation is to keep practicing and keep practicing and that’s the only way you reach the top,” Thu concluded.

Thu Kamkasomphou’s accomplishments are:

2000: Gold Medal-Individual & Bronze Medal Double (Paralympics, Sydney, Australia)
2001: Gold Medal-Individual & Silver Medal of the Europe Champ
2002: Bronze Medal Double of the World Champ
2003: Gold Medal-Individual & Bronze Medalist Double of the Europe Champ
2004: Bronze Medal-Individual & Double of the (Paralympics, Athens, Greece)
2006: Silver Medal-Individual & Bronze Medal-Double of the World Champ
2007: Double Gold Medal in both individual & Double of the Europe Champ
2008: Gold Medal Individual in class 8 of the Paralympics, Perking, China

For additional info go to http://site.voila.fr/ThuKamkasomphou

Listen to audio files for more details.

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