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How many Basketball players does it take to carry a flag?

Source:     2008-08-08  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  
(BEIJING, August 7) -- Basketball stars Yao Ming of China, Manu Ginobili of Argentina, Germany's Dirk Nowitzki, Sarunas Jasikevicius of Lithuania and Russian Andrey Kirilenko will each carry the flag of their countries in the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium on Friday.

Yao confirmed on Thursday that he will be the flag-bearer for the second consecutive time after his first experience at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

"It's exciting to be the flag-bearer again in the host land. It will be totally different from my experience in Athens. The atmosphere will reach its hottest point. I'm afraid I have to wear earplugs," said Yao.

Ever since Wang Libin carried the flag at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, China has consistently chosen basketball players to have this honor, with Song Tao in 1988, Song Li in 1992 and Liu Yudong in 1996 and 2000.

Ginobili was told that he would be carrying the flag by Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez, at a time when he was recovering from an ankle injury and his presence in Beijing was still in doubt.

Nowitzki thinks the fact that there are so many flag-bearers from the sport of Basketball underlines the sport's popularity.

"It shows that Basketball is getting bigger all over the world," he says. "It used to be a smaller sport, but now everybody plays it. The NBA has fans all over the world. It's becoming a global game."

Jasikevicius will take Saulius Stombergas' place, his former teammate who carried Lithuania's flag in Athens. "I didn't expect it, but what I can I say, it's a great honor."


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