Who Is it Going to Be?

There has been a lot of speculation as to who the final torch bearer will be for the Beijing Olympics, the individual who gets to light the cauldron in the Bird's Nest on 8/8. The IOC has a rule that an individual can only be a torchbearer once during each relay, so therefore Liu Xiang, who many suspected it would be, was ruled out, since he was the first torch bearer when the relay was started in Tiananmen Square many months ago.

With Liu Xiang out of the picture, smart money was on Yao Ming to be the final torchbearer, but this morning he was the one running out from Tiananmen Gate with the torch, a big surprise. The final torchbearer is (almost?) always an athlete, though many in China believe it should be a group of Sichuan earthquake survivors, which would be a nice touch.

So Yao and Liu have both held the torch, who is the final torchbearer going to be?

The name I've heard being floated around as the final torchbearer and one that would make some sense is Li Ning.  He's a former athlete, a Chinese Olympic hero, and he set up what is quickly becoming a global sportswear company.  The only issue with this, Adidas could be pretty pissed off about the marketing coup that this would give Li Ning.  The flipside?  Perhpas this is BOCOG's apology to Li Ning for the decision to leave and going with Adidas this summer.

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