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Winter Olympics series: Team China

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The opening ceremony for Vancouver 2010 falls on the eve of China's traditional Spring Festival, the most important festival of the year for the Chinese people...and Chinese athletes will try to provide more reasons for their compatriots to celebrate. We take a closer look now at Team China in the first of a nine-part series.


Today we will share the story of the Chinese ice hockey team. Happiness and bitterness are on display as the team finally returns to the Olympics after an eight year absence.

China is sending the country's largest delegation ever to compete in the Winter Olympics.

China delegation will consist of 182 members, of which 91 are athletes. The average age for the athletes is 24.4-years.

They will compete in 10 of 15 sports, which is also the most for China.

Wang Meng, Olympic Gold Medalist, said, "I am pretty confident...unless I have a error. No one can beat me."

China has never been a leading force at the Winter Olympics. But, when talking about Wang Meng, "Dominance" is perhaps, the perfect word.

The 24-year-old speed skater won the 500m race at the 2006 Games. Wang and her teammates aim to sweep all four gold medals in the women's short track races.

In figure skating, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo look to claim their golden dream at the Winter Olympics for the fourth time.

Shen Xue, Zhao Hongbo, Olympic Bronze Medalists, said, "All I want it the Olympic gold."

"The Champion, nothing else."

Three-time World Champions, three-time Four Continents Champions and six-time Grand Prix final champions...the skaters only lack a gold at the Olympics to cap their glorious career.


Winning the sliver medal at the 2006 Turin Olympics was just a start for 27-year-old freestyle skier Li Nina. Since then she's won the last three World Championships in a row.

Li is determined to prove herself again, in Vancouver.

Her teammate Han Xiaopeng will also defend his title in the men's freestyle skiing.


The Chinese women's curling team shocked the world by winning the 2009 World Championships with a 12-0 record.

This is the first time for China's curling team to compete in the Olympics. The four Chinese girls may bring more surprises in their debut.


In other sports, the China women's Hockey team qualified again after an 8-year wait. And Chinese athletes will also take part in Biathlon, Cross-country and Alpine Skiing.

Not traditional strengths, the Chinese athletes taking part in these events will look to gain valuable experience.

From the athletes, to the venues...there are 10 venues in all for the Olympic games.

Richmond's Olympic Oval and Vancouver's Olympic Center are among the newly built facilities.

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at the BC Place Stadium. It is the first time the ceremony will take place in a stadium with a roof.

At the 2006 Winter games in Turin, China ranked 14th in the medal tally with two gold, four silver and five bronze. The 11 total medals set a new high for China.

That will be the benchmark for China's winter athletes, as they look to make history in Vancouver.


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