While Chinese Olympic swimmer Sun Yang may have only won a gold medal for the 200 meter freestyle event, a simple random act of kindness he recently displayed aboard a plane earned him much more than gold in the hearts of many Chinese netizens.
After failing to qualify for the 1,500 meter freestyle final, an event he previously dominated, the disappointed swimmer headed back home to China on Monday. Mashable reported that during his flight home, the controversial athlete encountered a Chinese woman and her young nephew named Lucas.
The woman reportedly did not know who Sun was. According to a Weibo post, the young boy got along with the accommodating and friendly “uncle” who took care of him throughout the flight.
Seemed dedicated with his unplanned babysitting chores, Sun even offered to move seats just to keep Lucas company while his aunt took a nap.
The woman’s daughter, who immediately recognized the popular athlete, posted their photos on Weibo, saying she couldn’t believe that her mom and cousin just spent time with the celebrity/athlete.
One of the photos even featured Lucas playing in the airport lobby with other popular national athletes in the background. One of them was swimmer Ning Zetao, another popular Chinese Olympian.
Sun, who earlier made headlines after Australian swimmer, Mackenzie “Mack” Horton, labelled him a “drug cheat,” won the gold medal for the 200-meter freestyle and the silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle in the 2016 Rio Olympics.