Chinese basketball chief Yao Ming and table tennis all-time great Liu Guoliang are among over a hundred sports celebrities who will feature at the inaugural New Year Sports Gala.
The sports equivalent to the CCTV New Year's Gala will be aired during the Chinese lunar new year holidays in February.
Towering over the other sports stars in Monday's rehearsal was Yao, a former NBA player who is marshalling the ongoing Chinese basketball reform as president of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Liu is a career grand slam champion who retired as head coach of the Chinese table tennis team to commit himself to the promotion of Chinese sports culture in the world. He was seen trading jokes with Yao and Ding Ning. Ding is also a Grand Slam table tennis champion of the Olympic Games, World Championship and World Cup.
The other big names at the event include Olympic-title winning coach Lang Ping (volleyball) and former Chinese shooting team head coach Wang Yifu. Also at the event was Tian Liang and Wu Minxia (both diving), Ma Long (table tennis), former Chinese football star Rong Zhihang and former high jump world record holder Zheng Fengrong.