The family of Olympic diving champion Quan Hongchan has turned down offers of a free house and cash, which came after the 14-year-old revealed she started in the sport to pay medical bills for her sick mum.
The teenage star left spectators stunned at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She recorded three perfect 10s to score an incredible 466.20 in the women’s 10 metre platform, more than 40 points in front of compatriot Yuxi Chen in second place.
Melissa Wu of Australia was the bronze medallist with 371.40 points.
Quan’s performance at Tokyo 2020 became even more astonishing when she revealed her motivation for competing.
“My mum is ill,” she said after her victory, according to the South China Morning Post. “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.”
Quan and her family have since been flooded with offers of free property, 200,000 yuan (£22,300) and even a free annual membership card to a safari and amusement park in Guangzhou.
The offers came as crowds flocked to Quan’s home-village of Maihe, which is situated in Guangdong province. Despite the generosity of some of the donations, Quan’s father confirmed he turned them down.
“I thank them for coming,” he told the Southern Metropolis Daily. “But I did not take anything. I did not take a penny.”
There was criticism of those traveling to Maihe, with social media influencers going to the village to produce livestream videos throughout the night. The village has now been closed to visitors as the large crowds broke COVID-19 regulations in China.
Quan’s father also urged people to stay at home. “They can just send their regards,” he said. “There’s no need to come here. It’s disturbing their lives and ours too, isn’t it?”
Quan began diving at the Zhanjiang Sports School in Guangdong when she was seven years old. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was her international debut, after she joined the Chinese national team less than a year ago.