breaks gender barrier
Feb 10 2006
Yang Yang A, China's first-ever gold medallist in a Winter Olympics,
was the nation's first female flag-bearer Friday in Turin.
Yang, a 30-year-old short-track speed skater, won gold medals in
the 500 and 1,000 metres at the Salt Lake Games in 2002.
"It is a big step," she acknowledged. "It is not
that in China there is no equality between men and women, but they
think men are stronger and taller and that they can do it better."
Yang has skated to one gold medal and two silvers in the 500m during
World Cup competition this season, an event in which she is a six-time
world champion and currently ranked No. 2 overall.
Yang is also seeking election to the International Olympic Committee's
athletes' commission at Turin, the same role she holds with both
the International Skating Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency.