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"The Year of the Yao" to premiere at Beijing Olympic culture festival
Updated: 2005-06-07 16:56

NBA center Yao Ming will play a central role in this month's Olympic culture festival in Beijing, not appearing in person but on the screen.

NBA officials have closed their investigation of Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy(L), seen here with his center Yao Ming in 2004, who had said referees had been instructed to pay close attention to Ming.[AP]

The Chinese version of the movie "The Year of the Yao" will premiere during the cultural festival, according to Tuesday's Chinese Sports Daily.

The documentary movie which chronicles Yao's first year in NBA is one of the 20 sports-themed films to be screened during the cultural festival, which is held annually to promote Olympics in the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Yao has become one of China's biggest sports stars since joining the NBA Houston Rockets in 2002 as the NO.1 draft pick. His performance on the court as well as his grace and wit off it has captured the imagination of the fans in both China and the United States.

"The Year of the Yao" provides many behind-the-screen details and capture a well-rounded view of Yao's personality, his thoughtful nature and his sense of humor.

The Olympic festival culture will open on June 23 and conclude on July 16 in Beijing and Qingdao, the sailing venue for the 2008 Olympics.

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