Olympics: Making of an Asian Contender

After a 32-year absence, China wins hearts as well as medals

If the gymnastics gold medal of the U.S. men's m was "the miracle in Los Angeles," what does one call the Chinese performance? China had never gained the finals of any Olympic event, had in fact not competed in the Summer Games since 1952. But the People's Republic laid to rest all doubts about its athletic prowess on the first day in Los Angeles, when Pistol Shooter Xu Haifeng, 27, stood on the victory platform with a bird-of-paradise bouquet in his left hand and...

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