During the 99th Annual Kiwanis International Convention, the Kiwanis International Foundation honored Shun Gen, a Chinese exchange student studying in Japan, with the 2014 Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism for saving a boy from drowning.
“Shun Gen clearly demonstrated the spirit of the Connelly Medal,” said 2013-14 Kiwanis International Foundation President Lance Incitti. “He risked his own life, and as a result, saved a young boy’s life.”
In the Osaka Prefecture last September, Shun Gen was jogging along the Yodo River when he saw something terrible: A young boy had fallen into the water. Shun immediately jumped into the river to attempt a rescue, but the force of the current prevented him from reaching the nine-year-old child.
He got out of the water and ran along the bank, following the boy as he was carried by the river for about 350 meters. Another person handed a rope to Shun, who jumped back into the water and finally pulled the boy safely to shore.
The Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism
is awarded to an individual who has risked or given his or her life to save someone else. The medal has honored more than 600 individuals, each of whom has exemplified the supreme sacrifice given by Connelly, who lost his life while trying to save a woman who had fallen in the path of an oncoming community train.