Gao Yinghui, a junior two student of Overseas Chinese Town Middle School, was nominated as a torchbearer for the Beijing Olympics torch relay after a selection in Shenzhen organized by Coca Cola, a sponsor of the 2008 Games.
If the nomination is confirmed by the Beijing Olympic Games Organizing Committee, Gao will run 200 meters with the torch on behalf of Shenzhen's 200,000 middle school students. She will also get to keep the torch for life.
"I feel very honored if I could be selected and do my bit as a torch relay bearer for the Beijing Olympic Games," said Gao, after she won first place in the finals held at Nanshan Book City on Sunday.
The selection, which started in September, attracted nearly 10,000 participants from 30 schools. The top 10 students were selected on the basis of song and dance performances, recommendations from their schools and online voting.
"I faced a strong challenge from other nine contestants at the finals because all of them are versatile, especially in dancing and singing," said Gao.
The 15-year-old girl eventually won because of her Latin dance performance.
A calm and cheerful girl according to her mother and teachers, Gao started learning dance at age 10.
"My daughter is very obedient and perseverant in dance training," said her mother surnamed Shi.
Shi has been the only breadwinner in the family since her husband died of cerebral hemorrhage years ago. Her income can barely support the family's day-to-day expenses and Gao's education.
(Shenzhen Daily November 12, 2007)