During the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Gala in Sanya, China, Sun Yang earned honors for his ‘outstanding contribution to swimming popularity in China.’ A multiple Olympic champion, Sun scored 200m and 400m free gold at the 2017 World Championship in Budapest, setting a new Asian record in the 200m.
The star topped the list as China’s Most Influential Athlete for the 4th consecutive year and landed on the Forbes China Celebrity List for 2017, representing the only athlete to make the exclusive line-up.
As for being honored by the world swimming governing body, FINA, this weekend, Sun stated, “This award is certainly an encouragement to me. I’d like to extend my sincere appreciation to FINA, an organization that endeavors to promote swimming worldwide all these years. It not only gives us athletes a level playing field but also spreads the glamour of swimming to all corners of the world. It’s my great pleasure to be part of this great cause.” (Xinhuanet)
The 26-year-old also said, “I might have talent, but my success wouldn’t be possible without help from my amazing mentors, encouraging teammates and loving family and friends.”
The entire list of FINA award winners can be found here.