Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

13. Yang Wei

Age: 28

By most measures of success, Yang Wei should be a happy man. In 2006 and 2007 the 28-year-old gymnast won the men's all-around World Championships. Outside of the competition hall, Yang was selected to serve as a deputy to China's parliament, the National People's Congress. And this June, Yang was honored in his home province by being selected as the lead torchbearer when the Olympic flame relay passed through provincial capital Wuhan. But Yang is still hungry, unable to forget the 2004 Olympics in Athens when he fell from the horizontal bar and missed the gold. Yang will be looking to make up for that failure and is considered a strong contender for a gold both in the team and all-around individual competitions as well as possibly on the parallel bars and the rings.