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Sun Yang


International Swimming Federation (FINA)




International Swimming Federation (FINA)




32 years


Lifestyle & Culture




What makes Sun Yang a Global Shaker?

Sun Yang, also known as underwater meteor, is the most successful Chinese athlete in swimming history. His gold medal win at the 2012 Olympics was also joined by an accolade as the first male swimmer in history to earn Olympic and World Championship gold medals at every distance in freestyle between 200 and 1500 metres (the only other swimmer to boast such a feat is Katie Ledecky). He’s won three Olympic gold medals and has been decorated as world champion 11 times. In an NBC sport piece, Yang was described as “the greatest freestyle swimmer of all time.”

He is, however, incredibly controversial, and carries a past marked by allegations of and convictions for doping. He served a three month ban for doping in 2014, and didn’t show up for the 1500m final a year later which he said was because of a heart problem — and not an altercation with a Brazilian swimmer in the warm up.

True to form, Yang’s 2019 was as impressive as it was controversial. After claiming a fourth straight 400m freestyle title at the world championships, rival Hack Horton refused to step onto the podium in protest against Yang. The swimmer also went through an 11-hour public hearing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, following a refusal to let three doping testers take his fluid samples. The case was taken to CAS by the World Anti Doping Agency despite the global swimming body, FINA, cleared him of breaching rules. An answer to the public hearing is expected in spring 2020.

Tags: china, sports, Swimming

Last updated: January 24, 2020