Still think Made in China denotes flimsy goods? Then you haven't heard of Li Nina. China's premier aerial-freestyle skier may be a product of the country's sports assembly line, but she's no second-rate athlete. The 27-year-old triple world champion is favored for gold in Vancouver in an unorthodox sport that involves ski-shod athletes tumbling through the air at 55 km/h from a height equivalent to that of a five-story building. Li's snow-acrobat dominance along with that of fellow Chinese Guo Xinxin, Zhang Xin and Xu Mengtao shows just how successful the Chinese sports system can be in developing mastery in a sport from scratch. In the early 1990s, China boasted nary an aerial skier. Li herself started off as a child acrobat, until the country's medal-hungry sports czars suddenly stuck skis on her and ordered her to tumble though the icy air. The Chinese state's Olympic strategy was simple: instead of focusing on klieg-light winter sports like downhill skiing, it nurtured athletes in more esoteric disciplines like aerials. A decade after the national team was set up in 1996, Li captured an Olympic silver in Torino. This time around, watch for Made in China to upgrade to gold.