Li Ning lights the cauldron - and promotes his company in front of billions

Li Ning lights the cauldron! After months of speculation over who would light the cauldron, Yao Ming, Liu Xiang, it was 1984 Los Angeles gymnast Li Ning. Li Ning won 6 medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, including 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and a bronze medal.

He went on to become an entrepreneur starting a sports and clothing company in China which has the potential to rival Adidas and Nike, at least in the massive Chinese domestic market.

Li Ning (the company) wasn’t a sponsor at the Beijing Olympics, but the brand has been fairly closely linked to the Olympic games, something which China vowed that it would not let any non-Olympic sponsors to be part of the games.

I am sure that Adidas won’t be happy campers and I always thought the “swirl” in their logo was a straight copy of Nike’s. Without spending a dollar Li Ning has been able to put his and the company’s name in front of billions. Anyway, it was cool how he ran around the stadium on the side attached to a wire, but the final lighting of the flame wasn’t too spectacular.

Lin Ning Beijing Olympics

Posted by Mike 11 years ago

filed under: News

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linh - August 9, 2008 @ 1:20 am

I have a lot of respect for the guy; he definitely needed quite a bit of stamina to keep the whole wire-stunt part perfect! I agree, the lighting was straight-forward and uneventful, but I’d imagine it’d be difficult to do otherwise.

klaus pierre - August 9, 2008 @ 8:39 am

It was spectacular. I WAS amazed.
Thisis themost beautiful thing I have seen in my life.

Li Ning, you are the man!!!

yu888 - August 9, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

As China’s most decorated Olympic Medalist, LiNing was invited to light the torch. Despite his position running a multi-billion dollar company competing with the likes of nike and Adidas, no one can take the fact that he is an olympic hero to the host nation. If Adidas and Nike had not expected that this Olympian would somehow not be part of the games, then they were seriously underestimating the “guanxi” LiNing as a Olympian, as a Brand and as a company, has with the powers that be.

The run around the stadium had to be a bit exhausting for this stout 45 year old, but he did everything with great pride and performed well, for his country and for his company.

The torch lighting itself was just another torch lighting, but the run up to it by Li Ning was spectacular. Kudos to Li Ning.

atharus - August 9, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

Was it just me? I thought I saw wires snap a couple of times. Just before he started running there seemed to be a sudden short drop, then just before he lit the torch there was another one. I was watching through my fingers.

EV - August 10, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

LiNing logo is designed with L and N. Can’t you tell the difference? the Nike Swoosh, doesn’t spell N unless you turn it upside down. for those who designs corporate logos, the name is usually incorporated into the design. adidas is right there and you can’t miss it.
Look around at all the name brands and start analyzing their logos. Li Ning’s logo is just unique and very much its own design.

Li Ning is my hero as well as many Chinese people’s

Pin Sing - August 13, 2008 @ 6:53 am

China was just showing off to the world that it has a Chinenese sports brand, so that the world will run and buy that brand, and not the most populars e.g. Nike, Adidas,Puma…etc.

This is all about the Chinese wanting to manipulate the market of sporting goods.

occ - August 13, 2008 @ 7:09 am

“Was it just me? I thought I saw wires snap a couple of times. Just before he started running there seemed to be a sudden short drop, then just before he lit the torch there was another one. I was watching through my fingers.”

Your observation was very accurate. But the wire didn’t snap. There were two wires attached to his body. The “snap” you saw was actually a trick used to change the angle between him and the stadium wall.

[...] UPDATE: Pete Thamel has more from Beijing. Roberto Hernandez, the Spanish press officer for basketball, said he was not aware of the picture when reached by telephone. When told about its contents and asked if the Spanish team had made any effort to apologize, he asked a reporter to call Li Ning, the Chinese Olympic hero from the 1984 Games and the man who floated through the air at the Bird’s Nest to light the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony. The Spanish team is sponsored by Li-Ning, the footwear company. [...]

[...] the opening ceremony of the Olympics The technology and gadget blog Gizmodo reports that while Li Ning was running around with the torch, a Microsoft Windows computer which was being projected onto the [...]

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