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Li Ning donates to the IOC Olympic Museum

A special ceremony to celebrate a donation by Li Ning Co Ltd to the IOC Olympic Museum was held on Tuesday in Lausanne, Switzerland, and marked the first time a Chinese sports goods company had made a contribution to the museum.

One day before the official one-year countdown to the London Olympic Games, IOC president Jacques Rogge, Li Ning's Chairman, Li Ning, as well as Li Ning contracted athletes Asafa Powell, Yelena Isinbayeva and Zhang Yining attended the ceremony and expressed their best wishes for the London 2012 Olympics.

As the world's largest Olympic Museum, the Lausanne-based institution boasts more than 10,000 exhibits, including valuable cultural relics dating back to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The facility hosts more than 250,000 visitors each year.

Meanwhile, as a professional sports goods brand, Li Ning said it is committed to popularizing and promoting the Olympic spirit. To this end, the company has donated generously to the IOC Olympic Museum to support its operation and maintenance as well as promoting its exhibitions around the world. In return, Li Ning's brand name and logo will be engraved on the museum's memorial wall in recognition of its contribution.

Li said: "As a former athlete, I was profoundly affected by the Olympic spirit, which encouraged me to grow into an Olympic champion and inspired me on my way to establishing the Li Ning brand. I hope the donation from Li Ning will provide better support for the development of the museum and enable more people to find inspiration from the Olympic spirit in the same way I was fortunate to do."

Rogge presented Li with a sculpture by a famous Swiss artist and in return was excited to receive one of the shoes Li wore when he lit the Beijing Olympic Games torch.

Rogge spoke highly of the donation from Li Ning, saying: "It is very symbolic and special for me to see an Olympic champion go on to such great success after such a great sports career, and become the first gold medalist to become a full donor to the Olympic Museum, through his company.

"No athlete from the Summer Games has gone on to create a sports super brand. Mr Li Ning is an inspiration to all Olympians," Rogge said.