Yip Man was a Chinese martial artist best remembered for teaching martial arts to the famous Chinese American martial artist, Bruce Lee. Yip Man is credited with teaching not only Bruce Lee but also many other students who went on to become martial arts masters. A biographical martial arts film titled Ip Man was inspired by his life and career.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest Chinese basketball players ever, Yao Ming represented the Houston Rockets of the NBA. Known as the Ming Dynasty in the US, Ming's popularity and success in the NBA made him a symbol of China. One of China's most popular sportsmen, Ming is also credited with introducing the Chinese Basketball Association to the world.
Bolo Yeung is a Hong Kong retired competitive bodybuilder and martial arts film actor. He is best known for his performance in popular films like Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport. He has also played lead roles in films like Ironheart, which is regarded as a cult classic. As a bodybuilder, Yeung held the Mr. Hong Kong title for ten years.
With 666 career wins, including two Olympic and two World Cup golds, Lin Dan is one of the veterans of Chinese badminton. He is the only player to achieve a Super Slam, winning all nine major badminton titles. Known for his fitness and attacking style, Dan retired at 37.
Jackie Chan is a martial artist, actor, film director, screenwriter and singer and is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing and innovative stunts in his films, which he performs himself. Rumble in the Bronx, Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour are some of his popular Hollywood films. He has a widespread following in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres.
Jet Li is one of the most popular Asian actors to have made it big in the American film industry. A martial artist and former Wushu champion, he won a national championship before retiring from competitive Wushu to focus on his acting career. Also a well-known philanthropist, Jet Li is closely associated with the Red Cross Society of China.
Wong Fei-hung was a Chinese physician, martial artist, and folk hero. Wong is the subject of many television series and films. Between the 1940s and 1980s, Wong was portrayed by Hong Kong actor Kwan Tak-hing in over 70 films which earned Kwan the nickname Master Wong. Wong was also played by Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China.
Sun Yang is a Chinese competitive swimmer best known for winning three Olympic gold medals. Sun has also won 11 FINA World Championships and nine gold medals at Asian Games. Sun is the first man in the history of competitive swimming to win the World Championship and Olympic gold medals at every single freestyle distance between 200 and 1500 meters.
Li Na is a Chinese former tennis player. A former world No. 2, Li Na won two Grand Slam singles titles over the course of her career. She achieved international recognition in 2011 after becoming the first Asian Grand Slam singles champion. In 2019, she became the first Asian-born player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Chinese martial artist Wong Jack-man is best remembered for his duel with Bruce Lee in 1964. The duel was mired in controversy, as it was held privately in Oakland. There are different accounts of the fight, and Wong released his own version in the Chinese newspaper Chinese Pacific Weekly.
Gordon Liu is a Chinese martial artist and martial arts film actor best known for his portrayal of San Te in the 1978 Hong Kong kung fu film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. He then went on to appear in popular films like Kill Bill: Volume 1. Gordon made his Bollywood debut in the 2009 film Chandni Chowk to China.
Wu Jing is a Chinese martial artist, actor, and director best known for playing important roles in martial arts films like Fatal Contact, Tai Chi Boxer, and the SPL films. Widely regarded as one of the most bankable Chinese actors of all time, Wu Jing has been featured in the Forbes China Celebrity 100 list on a couple of occasions.
Ip Ching was a Hong Kong martial artist best remembered as a Grandmaster of the famous Ip Man family of Ving Tsun Kung Fu; he was only one of five Grandmasters of the family. Ip Ching and his brother Chun served as Wing Chun consultants for the film Ip Man 3 in which the former was portrayed by Jim Liu.
Hou Yifan is a Chinese chess player who won two gold medals at the 2010 Asian Games. Hou, who achieved the grandmaster title in 2008, is the second-highest-rated female chess player ever. Hou is also the youngest ever player to win the Women's World Chess Championship title. She is also regarded as the greatest female chess player of her generation.
Chen Long is a Chinese competitive badminton player best known for winning a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the men's singles event in Rio de Janeiro. Chen has also won gold medals at World Championships, Asian Games, and Asian Championships. A former world number 1, Chen has also won the Sudirman Cup on five occasions so far.
Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese martial artist, herbalist, and tactical advisor. Li Ching-Yuen, who is believed to have lived off a diet of rice wine and exotic herbs throughout his life, is best remembered for his extreme longevity claim. According to his claim, Li Ching-Yuen lived for 250 years, although gerontologists consider that to be a myth.
Ma Long created history by becoming the first male table tennis player to score a Double Grand Slam and has 5 Olympic gold medals in his kitty. Known for his forehands and looping shots, he has also earned nicknames such as the Dictator and the Dragon, and is a national hero in China.
Former world number one in singles Li Xuerui has 14 Superseries titles in her kitty. She is also a former Olympic gold medalist. Known for her attacking stance, she ruled the badminton scene before an injury at the Rio Olympics interrupted her career. She retired from international badminton in 2019.
Chinese tennis star Wang Qiang had begun playing tennis at the tender age of 9. She was initially trained in Japan and grew up idolizing Steffi Graf. Best known for her serve and her speed, she became the second-highest-ranked player from her country, after Li Na, when she ranked 12th in singles.
Retired badminton player Xie Xingfang is a former singles number one and a two-time world champion. She has won countless medals, including an Olympic silver, an Asian Games gold, and a World Cup gold. She was also known for her high-profile relationship with badminton sensation Lin Dan.
Former badminton player Fu Haifeng is known as one of the most successful men’s doubles players in history. Along with partner Cai Yun, he has earned an Olympic gold. The duo is also the only doubles pair with four world titles and was named to BWF's Hall of Fame.
At 16, Ding Liren became the youngest Chinese Chess Champion. He was also the first player to reach the World Cup finals twice back-to-back. The Chinese chess grandmaster is also a law school graduate. He remains the highest-rated chess player from his country and has won the Chinese Championship thrice.
Chinese table tennis player Fan Zhendong currently holds the number one position in men’s singles. In a personal statement on his fan forum on Sina Weibo, he mentioned how he hates extreme fan reactions. In 2012, he was the youngest member of the Chinese national table tennis team.
Hurdler Liu Xiang created history by becoming the first Chinese Olympic gold medalist in any men’s track-and-field event. While he excelled in high jump in his younger days, he deviated to hurdles by 15. He has also earned gold medals at the world championships and the Asian Games.
Apart from being a 5-time world champion, Lü Xiaojun is also a 2-time Olympic gold medalist. His gold win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, at 37, made him the oldest weightlifter to achieve the feat. He also won a silver at the Rio Olympics. He is married to fellow world-class weightlifter Guo Xiyan.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zhang Nan mostly won games in mixed doubles with his partner Zhao Yunlei. He has won medals in all major events, such as the Sudirman Cup and the Asian Games. Post-retirement, he became a doubles coach and was then made the chairman of the CBA.
Chinese-born Canadian chess sensation Qiyu Zhou grew up in countries such as France and Finland and began learning chess at age 3. She won the Finnish U-10 championship at 5 and won the World Youth Chess Championship at 14. Known for her Twitch livestreams as akaNemsko, she is also Canada’s first woman grandmaster.
Table tennis player Xu Xin remains one of the rare penhold grip players in China. Currently ranked world number 3, he won a silver in the mixed doubles in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, along with partner Liu Shiwen. He teamed up with Shiwen again to win a National Games gold in 2021.
Cai Yun is a Chinese retired professional badminton player who specialized in the men's doubles event. A four-time World Championship winner, Cai also won silver and gold medal in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, respectively. Considered the greatest men's doubles player ever, Cai Yun also won six Sudirman Cups and five Thomas Cups during his illustrious playing career.
Gymnast Shang Chunsong grew up amid extreme poverty in a remote village in China, where she and her family would often go without food and heating. Starting her training in gymnastics at age 7, she lifted her family out of drudgery. She captained the Chinese bronze-winning team at the Rio Olympics.
Zhang Jike is a Chinese professional table tennis player who won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in men's singles, becoming only the fourth male player to achieve a career Grand Slam in the history of table tennis. He also has two other Olympic gold medals and seven World Championship gold medals under his belt.
Chinese former artistic gymnast and the owner of Chow’s Gym, Liang Chow has over 30 international gold medals in his kitty. He later moved to the US, where he focused on coaching. He is known for training Olympic gold medalists such as Gabby Douglas and Shawn Johnson.
Three-time Olympic champion Ma Lin is the only male table tennis player with wins in the singles, the doubles, and the team events in the Olympics. He is also a 9-time world champion. Now a successful coach, he also often collaborates with the table tennis equipment brand Yasaka, to develop new products.
One of the greatest volleyball players in history, Lang Ping gained the name Iron Hammer. The former Olympic gold medalist now coaches the Chinese national women’s volleyball team. Her story was one of the many featured in the Chinese sports movie Leap, which traced the country’s women’s volleyball history.
Born to basketball player parents, Wang Zhizhi had begun playing the game at age 8. He later created history by becoming the first Chinese-born to compete in the NBA. Known for his successful stint with teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, he was also in the news for his 7-foot frame.
Apart from being a star badminton player, Zhao Yunlei is also a graduate degree holder from the Huazhong University. She created history by becoming the first and only badminton player with 2 Olympic gold medal wins in the same year, winning in both mixed doubles and women’s doubles in 2012.
Regarded as one of the greatest doubles badminton players of China, Gao Ling is a 2-time Olympic gold medalist and a 4-time world champion. She has also earned an Olympic silver and bronze. She and her partner Huang Sui won a record 6 women’s doubles titles at the All-England Championships.
Named to the Forbes list of 30 Under 30 in Entertainment and Sports, from Asia, Chen Yufei was inspired to take up badminton while watching the 2008 Olympics as a 10-year-old. Now an Olympic gold medalist herself, she also has tons of other medals in her kitty, including two Sudirman Cup gold medals.
Wang Ruiji is a popular mainland fencer, who is also known as the father of rapper and budding fencer Jackson Wang. He is married to world champion gymnast Sophia Chow. Apart from representing the Chinese national fencing team, he has also won an Asian Games gold medal.
Eight-time world champion Ding Ning also has 4 Olympic medals, 3 of which are gold. The former Chinese table tennis sensation announced her retirement on Weibo in 2021. She is now pursuing a university course in physical education. She earned the unofficial title of the Queen of Hearts for her popularity.
Olympic silver medalist Tang Xijing is one of the finest young artistic gymnasts of China. She also has a Youth Olympic gold medal in her kitty. She created history by becoming the second Chinese female athlete to score the highest all-around finish in any world championship or Olympic.
Chinese table tennis player Chen Meng is the current world number 1 in singles. She also impressed her fans with her double gold wins at the Olympic debut in the Tokyo Olympics. She has countless other medals in her kitty, from all major championships, such as the Asian Games and the World Championships.