Jeremy Lin outshining Obama, Lady Gaga in ‘TIME 100’ online poll
As of Thursday, 70,778 Internet users had voted for Lin, the first NBA player of Taiwanese descent, ranking him the sixth most popular candidate for inclusion in the influential list, the magazine said.
Lin, a Harvard economics graduate who rose from obscurity to superstardom after leading the struggling New York Knicks to a seven-game winning streak in February, is now recuperating from knee surgery.
Although Lin has been off the court since late March, he remains one of the most recognized athletes in the world. He is the top-ranked athlete in the “TIME 100” online poll, four places above the next highest ranked sports figure, Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi.
Lin is also the only ethnic Chinese to rank among the top 10 vote-getters in the survey, and he has picked up more votes than U.S. President Barack Obama (20th) and pop singer Lady Gaga (17th).
The four most popular candidates as of Thursday were Anonymous (representing the network of hackers who collaborate under the Anonymous moniker), Indian politician Narendra Modi, U.S. Internet celebrity Erik Martin and Iranian director Asghar Farhadi in that order.
The only Taiwanese among the “TIME 100” candidates is Terry Gou, the chairman of the Taiwan-based Hon Hai Group, the world’s largest electronics manufacturing services provider.
Each year, the magazine invites its readers around the world to vote online for the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that they think are the most influential people in the world for that particular year.
The 2012 official online voting ends April 6, and the poll winner will be featured in the TIME 100 issue. The complete TIME 100 list will be chosen by the magazine’s editors and revealed on the TIME.com website on April 17.
Taiwan’s incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou and his predecessors Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian as well as Washington Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang are among the Taiwanese who have made the TIME 100 list in the past.
(By Tony Liao and Sofia Wu)