Air-borne Li Ning lights Olympic cauldron
Indo-Asian News Service
8/12/2008 2:11:00 PM
Olympian gymnast Li Ning lit the Olympic cauldron after being spectacularly lifted 75 feet above the ground in a final act of the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games here Friday.
The 91,000 capacity National Stadium and billions of television viewers watched in awe as an airborne Ning - winner of six gold medals in the 1982 Gymnastics World Cup - took a bird's eye view of the stadium holding the torch in both hands, as video footage of the worldwide torch relay formed the background.
Ning is a legend in China, having claimed three gold, two silver and two bronze medals in the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Earlier, eight torchbearers - including Ning - carried the torch in the last stage of the relay into the National Stadium - Bird's Nest.
The seven others are shooter Xu Haifeng, diver Gao Min, gymnast Li Xiaoshuang, weightlifter Zhan Xugang, badminton player Zhang Jun, taekwondo athlete Chen Zhong, and volleyball player Sun Jinfang, all Olympic champions of the host nation.
Dawn Fraser (AUS)
Fraser made her mark in the 100m freestyle event, taking gold in the 1956, 1960 and in 1964.
Nadia Comaneci (ROM)
Romania's Nadia Comaneci won a total of nine gold medals at the 1976 and 1980 Games.