Yao Ming named ambassador for Beijing's bid for Winter Olympics

Updated: 2015-02-10 21:08


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BEIJING - The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games Bid Committee named six promotion ambassadors on Tuesday, including former NBA star Yao Ming.

Yao Ming wasn't a stranger to Olympics. The eight-time NBA All-Star represented China in 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Last year he was selected as one of the ambassadors for Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

"Winter sports isn't my specialty," said Yao Ming, "but I have the passion and energy."

"It's an honor to play a part in Beijing's bidding, and I hope we can win the bid eventually," he said.

Paralympic star Hou Bin, former figure skating world champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, Olympic champion speed skater Zhang Hong, and Olympic freestyle skiing silver medalist Li Nina were also among the ambassadors.

"I'm glad to see more and more people in China start to play winter sports," said Shen Xue, who won China's first figure skating Olympic gold in 2010 with Zhao Hongbo.

"I will encourage more people, especially the youth, to join us for Beijing's bid."

Beijing handed over its official bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last month.

The IOC will send an evaluation team to China in March before it elects the host city of the 2022 Winter Games from either Beijing or Almaty, Kazakhstan, on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur.

Beijing will co-host the Games with Zhangjiakou, a Hebei province city some 200 kilometers northwest of the Chinese capital, if it wins the bid.