For Adili, The More Tightrope Walkers, The Better
   2012-06-11 13:25:30      Web Editor: Yihang

Abdusattar, a 23-year old student, performs dawaz at Adili's training school in Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Saturday, July 9, 2012. [Photo: Xu]

By Zhang Xu

For legendary Uygur tightrope walker Adili Wuxor, his biggest success has not been breaking world records but training future tightrope walkers.

Tightrope walking, known as "dawaz" in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is a traditional Uygur sport that dates back almost 2,000 years.

Adili was born near the Silk Road city of Kashgar, and his family has performed tightrope walking for more than 450 years. The 41-year-old is now the most famous dawaz performer in China. He has set several Guinness World Records tiptoeing on the high wire and has been called the "prince of tightrope walking."

Adili said he was born for dawaz and his deep love for it has prompted him to break many world records. In 1997, the young tightrope performer stunned the world by traversing the Yangtze River on a steel wire strung high over the Three Gorges in 13 minutes and 48 seconds. It broke the previous Guinness World Record of 53 minutes and 10 seconds set by Canadian Jay Cochrane in 1995.

Afterwards, Adili continued setting new records, such as the longest high-wire walk of 1399.6 meters.

But Adili said his greatest success now is not breaking more world records but training future tightrope walkers.

"I love dawaz so much, and I hope it can be passed down forever," Adili said. "Moreover, it's the common people who have given me so many honors, and I'd like to repay them."

To accomplish his mission, Adili began building a private dawaz training school in his hometown Kashgar in April 2011. So far, the indoor and outdoor training areas have been completed.

"I will invest 8 million yuan (US$1.26 million) and spend three to five years completing the entire school," Adili said. "Besides the training area, my future school will have a dormitory building, canteen, teaching school, grandstand and a dawaz museum. Students ages 10 to 12 will be trained for six years. The tuition will be free, but I will strictly select those who can enter my school."

Adili also said his students would not need to worry about their futures after graduation.

"The students will have two hours of study for English and computers every night at the school," Adili said. "This will ensure at least that they can find jobs after graduation. The students also can stay on after graduation and become staff members at the school. The monthly salary will be about 1,800 yuan, which is not low in Kashgar."

Adili now has 12 students, including three girls, and eventually would like to accept students from other countries.

Abdusattar, 23, came to Kashgar from Hotan to become Adili's first student in 2000 after he was inspired by Adili's epic tightrope walk over the Three Gorges in 1997.

Abdusattar said thanks to Adili, he and other students had never been seriously injured during tightrope performances, and his teacher had encouraged him to make great achievements.

"In 2004, I planned to perform dawaz above animals for 200 hours in south China's Guangzhou," Abdusattar said. During the first few days, I was excited about it, but later I gradually felt desperate due to isolation. Adili kept telling me on that phone that perseverance is victory. It was he who finally made it a success."

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