The family of Chinese teen diver Quan Hongchan, who bagged gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has turned down various offers after her feat. This included free property and cash worth 200,000 yuan or P1.5 million.
According to a South China Morning Post report, the 14-year-old disclosed her main reason for getting into diving and eventually taking part in tilts in a press conference. “My mum is ill. I don’t know what illness she has because I don’t know how to pronounce that character. I just want to make money to get her medical treatment. I need to make a lot of money to cure her illness,” she said.
It didn’t take long for the general public to get interested in her humble background, with many of them even going to her area to get a look at her family home. She was also generously flooded with gifts such as a full range of medical services for her sick mom and grandfather as well as lifetime free passes to amusement parks, zoos, and resorts.
She was even offered a free property and cash worth 200,000 yuan or P1.5 million.
Interestingly, according to the same SCMP article, all of these were declined by her father Quan Wenmao. “I thank them for coming, but I did not take anything. I did not take a penny,” he said.
People are no longer allowed to check her house, too, due to the risk of spreading COVID-19 from traffic jams and huge crowds. Wenmao said, “They can just send their regards. There’s no need to come here. It’s disturbing their lives and ours too, isn’t it?”
Hongchan reigned supreme at the women's 10m platform at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She is set to compete in Paris 2024.
Photographs by Oli Scarff and Ali Kisbenedek/ AFP