LONDON, England, August 11. CHINA's Sun Yang, who became the first Chinese swimmer to earn Olympic gold with a pair of them including a stunning world-record in the men's 1500 free at the 2012 London Olympics, is in line for a huge payday with nearly $20 million in endorsement funds coming his way.
Sun, who is in line to make $18 million throughout the next year as part of a sponsorship deal with Coca Cola, shoe company 361 Degrees and dairy goods manufacturer Yili, will also be required to share part of those funds to the rest of the Chinese Olympic swim team according to Yahoo Sports. His contract with the Chinese Swimming Federation requires that around one-third of those funds must be turned over to the rest of the Olympic swim team.
On top of one-third of the funds going to his teammates, he is also required to turn over another third to the Chinese Swimming Federation. According to Xinhua, most Chinese athletes also sign the same contract with the government-run federations. China has claimed that Sun's training has cost the government $1.57 million, some of which went to Australian coach Denis Cotterrell for training Sun.
“What the Chinese offered me for a month, I could live on for a year,” Cotterell told Yahoo Sports.
Sun's overall endorsement deal is the most ever for any Olympic gold medalist in China, and at just 20 years old, he has at least the 2016 Rio Olympics, and possibly 2020 ahead of him to earn even more endorsement dollars.