Multi-Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang may be serving a suspension for doping but the man is still very much in the public eye within his native nation of China.
Sun, who is currently unable to compete until May of 2024, recently was a one-man spokesman show on Douyin (Chinese TikTok) touting cosmetics and skincare.
The 30-year-old freestyle ace appeared in a series of infomercials of sorts on Friday and Saturday, attracting millions of viewers. Spanning a total of 5 hours, Sun’s presentations of products from brands Estee Lauder, SK-II and others reportedly brought in over $4 million in sales.
Per China’s Global Times, Sun’s livestream topped the charts for all livestreams on Douyin during that same period, and the related hashtag for the event dominated the trending chart on Sina Weibo (akin to Twitter) on Friday. Sun himself has 3.8 million followers on Douyin and over 30 million followers on Sina Weibo.
For his time in the beauty products spotlight, Sun reportedly brought home a paycheck over $500,000 USD, according to China’s Global Times.
“Actually my body is in great physical condition,” Sun said. “Difficulties will only help me grow and make me stronger.” He also said, “I’ll definitely stick with it.”
In addition to acquiring just short of a dozen World Championships titles, Sun has amassed multiple Olympic medals, including 400m free and 1500m free gold, along with 200m free silver from the 2012 Olympic Games. There in London, he became China’s first-ever swimming male Olympic gold medalist.
Sun also took home the 200m free Olympic title paired with 400m free silver in Rio 5 years ago.