Special report: 2008 Olympic
BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Games host China will
send their biggest-ever Olympic team of 639 athletes to compete on home soil
Chinese players and coaches of the
newly-founded Chinese Olympic delegation clench their fists as they recite
a pledge to 'play with honour' in Beijing, July 25, 2008. China unveils
its largest delegation for any previous Olympic Games on Friday to
represent the host nation.(Xinhua Photo)
The 1099-strong delegation also include 460 officials
for the Games to be opened on Aug. 8, according to deputy chef de Mission Duan
Shijie here on Friday.
Men's 110 meters hurdling Olympic champion Liu Xiang,
NBA star Yao Ming and diving queen Guo Jingjing will spearhead the biggest squad
in Beijing to compete in all 28 sports.
Shooter Tan Zongliang, 37, is one of the three
athletets making their fourth Olympic trip. The other two are basketballer Li
Nan and Guo, two time Olympic champion on women's springboard.
Thirty-seven athletes of the team will enjoy their
third Games while 165 have been to Athens.
"I'm getting better with good training and no injury.
All I have to do in the Olympic track is to beat myself," said Liu, who became
the national hero by winning Chinese men's first-ever athletics Olympic gold
medal in 2004.
In a ceremony held at the announcement of the
delegation, all the present members pledged, facing the Chinese national flag,
that they will complete clean and fair, respecting opponents, judges and
The Chinese delegation also include 42 minority
athletes, participating in 18 sports, and 38 foreign coaches including men's
basketball manager Jonas Kazlauskas of Lithuania.
The full list will be revealed later at the Beijing
Olympic Games official website.