BEIJING, China. -- Seeing the Great Wall was one of the reasons Antonio Madrigal wanted to come to China. He just didn’t think it would be such a workout.

“There’s been a bunch of stairs,” said Madrigal. “Small, tall and then when you look at the view it’s kind of steep.”

After climbing more than one-thousand steps up, Madrigal described the view and the wall as “going to the past.”

Madrigal is one of the 97 students from Tacoma’s Lincoln High School touring China as guests of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The president invited the students to China when he toured their campus in September of 2015.

Madrigal has extra motivation to see as much as he can on the trip.

A rare virus as a toddler made him legally blind in his left eye. He has no vision in his right eye. Doctors have told him the little vision he has left could get worse.

Madrigal said the trip, which has included a tour of Hong Kong, and seeing baby pandas in Chengdu, has changed his perspective on life.

He wants to travel more, especially while he still can see.

“I hope I get back my vision,” said Madrigal, “But for now I just got to hope for the best, hope I can actually travel the world before something bad happens.”