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Air-borne Li Ning lights Olympic cauldron


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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.


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Venue: National Stadium
Location: Olympic Green
Competitions: Athletics, Football

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Only four athletes have ever w

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