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Sun Wen leads off second day of Olympic Torch Relay in Shanghai

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Sun Wen leads off second day of Olympic Torch Relay in Shanghai
Women's football star Sun Wen displays the torch during the Torch Relay in Shanghai.

(BEIJING, May 24) – Women's football star Sun Wen was the first torchbearer of the second day of the Shanghai leg of the Olympic Torch Relay on May 24, heading out from Shanghai Stadium amidst cheers and rain.

The Olympic Games ignites not only the passion, but also the dreams of the Chinese people, Sun said in an interviewed with Eastday.com after finishing her portion of the relay.

Nicknamed "Maradona in a skirt," Sun Wen was recruited to the Chinese Women's National Football Team at the age of 17. She quickly became a leader on the team, participating in the first World Women's Football Championships as a top player and helping the national team win the Asian Cup in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997.

Sun Wen won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot Awards in the 1999 FIFA World Cup and was nominated as FIFA Women's World Player in 2001 and 2002, placing second and third, respectively.

Her achievements as a football player have allowed her to contribute to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since her retirement from the national team. The opportunity to be a torchbearer, she said with a smile, was the IOC's way of encouraging her in her work.

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Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
August 8-24, 2008

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