Zhang Hong from China became the first blind person from Asia to climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. He also is only the third blind person in the world to scale the peak. Hong, after returning to the base camp on Thursday, said that all it required was a strong mind, Hindustan Times quotes Reuters.

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On May 24, Hong completed the 8,849 metres to reach the peak, alongside three high-altitude guides. Hong said, “No matter if you’re disabled or normal, whether you have lost your eyesight or you have no legs or hands, it doesn’t matter as long as you have a strong mind, you can always complete a thing that other people you can’t”, Hindustan Times quotes Reuters.

“I was still very scared because I couldn’t see where I was walking, and I couldn’t find my centre of gravity, so sometimes I would fall”, said Hong. “But I kept thinking because even though it was hard, I had to face those difficulties, this is one component of climbing, there are difficulties and dangers and this is the meaning of climbing”, reports Hindustan Times.

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Hong was born in Chongqing in southwestern China. He lost his vision due to glaucoma at the age of 21. His inspiration is Erik Weihenmayer is a blind American mountaineer who climbed Mount Everest in 2001. Hong also began training under the guidance of Weihanmayer’s guide Qiang Zi, Hindustan Times reports.

Nepal reopened the mountain in April for tourists after it was closed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.