Sun Yang is not an average Chinese athlete: the 25-year-old swimmer has already taken part in a reality show, he was suspended after testing positive for a banned stimulant, but the main point is that he is three-time Olympic and seven-time world champion. The Underwater Meteor plans to achieve some more excellent results at the 2017 FINA World Championships.
Sun Yang rather looks like a basketball player than a swimmer, since he is two meters tall. When he was a child he was noticed by a teacher at a sports school because of his height. His parents were both volleyball players.
Sun took part in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing at age 16, but his first major result was clinching the bronze medal in 1500 m freestyle at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome. After winning two gold medals at the 2010 Asian Games he was shining at the 2011 World Championships, too, finishing first in the 800 m and the 1500 m freestyle, breaking Grant Hackett’s ten-year-old world record.
He won two more gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and three more ones at the 2013 World Championships, and performed well at both the 2014 Asian Games and the 2015 World Championships. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro he finished first in 200 m freestyle.
Sun is only 25, but he has had a really adventurous life. He was involved in a car accident in Hangzhou in November 2013. The car he was driving collided with a bus and when police arrived to investigate, Sun was unable to produce a driver's licence. He was given seven days administrative detention. He apologised publicly after the incident.
In May 2014 he was suspended for three months after testing positive for banned stimulant trimetazidine at the Chinese national championships. At his hearing at the China Anti-Doping Agency, he said that he took trimetazidine to treat a heart condition since 2008, but was unaware that the drug had been placed on a banned list.
At the 2015 FINA World Championships he tried to insult a Brazilian female swimmer because he felt she was annoying him during a training. He has had some more conflicts with other athletes as well in recent years.
In 2016 it was revealed he was in the line-up for Chinese reality television show 'Come Champion'. The athletes named to the show are pitted against popular celebrities in athletic challenges. He also auctioned a special personal swimming lesson for charity. Chinese actor Pu Cunxin paid 150,000 yuan [USD 25,000] for his daughter to have the lesson.
The question is which Sun Yang we will see in Budapest this summer when he will be eager for winning some more gold medals at the FINA World Championships in the Dagály Aquatics Arena?
Born: Hangzhou (China), 1 December, 1991
Three-time Olympic champion ((2012 London, 400 and 1500 freestyle; 2016 Rio de Janeiro, 200 m freestyle); two-time Olympic silver medallist (2012 London, 200 m freestyle; 2016 Rio de Janeiro, 400 m freestyle); Olympic bronze medallist (2012 London, 4x200 m freestyle)
Seven-time world champion (2011 Shanghai, 800 and 1500 m freestyle; 2013 Barcelona, 400, 800 and 1500 m freestyle; 2015 Kazan, 400 and 800 m freestyle); two-time world vice-champion (2011 Shanghai, 400 m freestyle; 2015 Kazan, 200 m freestyle); three-time world bronze medallist (2009 Rome, 1500 m freestyle; 2011 Shanghai, 4x200 m freestyle; 2013 Barcelona, 4x200 m freestyle)
Five-time Asian Games champion (2010 Guangzhou, 1500 m freestyle and 4x200 m freestyle; 2014 Incheon, 400 and 1500 m freestyle, 4x100 m freestyle)