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China’s Olympians win Laureus team award

The remarkable success that China’s sporting heroes achieved at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games capped yet another honor their way.

The Chinese Olympic team was on Friday named the “Team of the Year” at the prestigious 2009 Laureus World Sports Awards held in Beijing.

Topping the medal tally with 51 gold medals, 21 silvers and 28 bronze at the Games, the Chinese Olympians were contending with the likes of the Manchester United soccer team, the Spanish national soccer team, the British Olympic cycling team, the Jamaican Olympic sprint team and the NBA’s Boston Celtics for the award.

This is the first time the award has been presented to a national Olympic team and not an individual sports team.

“Beijing hosted one of the best Olympics ever. The facilities were fantastic and the Games were full of remarkable sporting exploits,” said Laureus Academy President Edwin Moses, who presented the award to Cui Dalin, vice-president of the Chinese Olympic Committee.

“But for me, the most amazing sight was the passion and the determination of the Chinese athletes, who produced so many epic performances, not just in the sports we knew they were good at, but even in others where China was not expected to do very well,” he added.

The award has only come as an encouragement for Chinese sports.

“This award proves that China did an excellent job at the Games. And I hope more and more Chinese start playing sports,” said China’s table tennis legend Deng Yaping, who is also a Laureus Academy member. (by Lei Lei)