- Sport: Olympic Basketball
- Nation: People's Republic of China
- Position: Center
- Notes: Born Sept. 12, 1980. ... It was originally feared Yao could miss the Olympics due to a stress fracture in his left foot that
cut his season short with the NBA's Houston Rockets, but it appears the 7-foot-6 center will be fully recovered for the Games.
... Showed he can shake off the rust after a long layoff in the 2006 world championships, coming back from a broken foot to
average a tournament-high 25.3 points and 9.0 rebounds. ... Was averaging 22.0 points and a career-high 10.8 rebounds this
season before getting hurt. ... Named to All-NBA third team for the third time - he made the second team in 2006-07 - despite
playing just 55 games. ... Averaged 20.7 points and a tournament-best 9.3 rebounds at the 2004 Athens Games as China took
eighth place, its best finish in Olympic history. ... Has stated it is China's goal just to advance out of pool play and reach
the quarterfinals. ... Possibly being marketed more than any other athlete going into this Olympics, with billboards all over
Beijing featuring him. ... Named Asian Championships MVP in 2005 as China won its fourth straight title, then sat out 2007
event because China received an automatic Olympic berth as the host country. ... Averaged 21.0 points and 9.3 rebounds at
the 2002 world championships following his rookie season in the NBA. ... Injuries have forced Yao, elected an NBA All-Star
starter the past six years, to miss 86 games over the last three seasons. ... Contributed 10.5 points and 6.0 boards in 2000
Olympics as China went 2-3 and failed to get out of pool play.