Disabled Vietnamese track-and-field athlete becomes chef, creates jobs for peers

Cao Ngoc Hung is not only a top track-and-field athlete with disabilities in Vietnam, but also a chef and restaurant owner. The javelin thrower has gained great achievements in the field: awards at many national Paralympic Games, ASEAN Para Games and most notably a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. However, for the 27-year-old who has a passion for cooking, that was not enough. Five years back, Hung started to learn how to cook. A month ago, he opened a restaurant in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, with his wife, Nguyen Ngoc Hai, who is also an athlete with disabilities. They couple together won four gold medals and one silver for Team Vietnam at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Malaysia. “It was a risky decision. All the money we have earned from our competitions throughout these years was spent on the rent and the servers’ salaries,” Hung said. “But we have been athletes for a long time. It’s time we prepared for the future.” There are days when Hung has to work for 12 hours straight, which does not seem less demanding than training and competing. Cao Ngoc Hung and his wife, Nguyen Ngoc Hai, celebrate their achievements at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Malaysia. Photo: Tuoi Tre “It requires strength as well, as you have to hold the pan and cook for a long time,” the javelin athlete said. “I am the only chef at the moment. I plan to look for someone…

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