Liu Wei (Chinese: 刘伟, born October 7, 1987, in Beijing) is a Chinese disabled pianist from Beijing who won the first series of China's Got Talent at the age of 23 by playing the piano with his toes.
Liu Wei lost his arms at the age of 10 after touching a high-voltage wire during a game of hide-and-seek.He regained consciousness after 45 days of critical condition. His parents told him he should learn how to eat by himself, otherwise no one could take care of him when they become old. His mother kept telling him that he is not different from the others. In the hospital, he met an armless painter, which inspired him to learn to use his feet to write, brush his teeth and eat.
At the time, he dreamed of becoming a soccer player. He was encouraged by Liu Jingshen, vice-chairman of the Beijing Disabled Persons' Federation, to do daily chores with his feet and started swimming two years later. He won two gold medals and one silver at the National Swimming Championship for the Disabled in 2002. He learnt how to do other daily activities such as navigating online, eating, dressing and brushing his teeth. He considers himself more fortunate than those without enough to eat, debunking ideas of those who believe him unhappy.
He started playing the piano at age of 18 or 19 (sources vary) to pursue his childhood dream of being a musician. His first teacher quit as he considered it impossible for someone to play with their toes. However, Liu, who was studying music theory, persisted and taught himself in secret how to play, despite cramps and abrasion, often practicising seven hours a day. As he said, the melodies he can play are limited due to the length of his toes and he cannot play certain pieces he loves because he cannot reach across octaves. Nevertheless, he aims to become such a good pianist that people won't notice that his arms are missing.
Galeri Foto Liu Wei: