In addition to his sporting successes, Yao Ming has also been an enthusiastic worker, through the Yao Ming Foundation, in providing educational opportunities for children.
He has also supported relief efforts after serious earthquakes. He received the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award from Sean Fitzpatrick and Yang Yang at the Awards Ceremony, where it was also announced that he had been elected a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, along with Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

I would like to congratulate Yao Ming on this very special Award which is presented only at the discretion of the Academy. When he retired in 2011, the then NBA Commissioner David Stern said ‘Yao was a bridge between Chinese and American basketball fans with a wonderful mixture of talent, dedication and humanitarian aspirations’. I could not say it any better than that. He is one of those people who is a sporting legend, but who also shows a greater commitment than simply what happens in the sports hall. I am delighted that he has now agreed to become a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Edwin moses, Laureus academy chairman

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