Quan Hongchan: Chinese teen diving star's village mobbed by fans

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Gold medalist Quan Hongchan of China poses with a Chinese national flag during the medal ceremony for the Women's 10m Platform FinalImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Many people have been touched by Quan, who said she took up diving to help pay for her mother's medical bills

China's teen diving sensation Quan Hongchan's family and neighbours have been harassed by tourists hoping to get social media "likes", local media say.

Ever since the 14-year-old won Olympic gold after delivering three perfect-10 dives, fans have rushed to her Maihe village home to take videos and photos.

Some persistent fans are even climbing trees for a better view.

Quan has received massive support online after she said she took up diving to pay her sick mother's bills.

Her story touched many people when she told reporters that she dedicated her Olympic win to her mother, who has been admitted to hospital many times after getting into a traffic accident years ago.

"I want to make enough money to support her," Quan had said in Tokyo.

On China's Twitter-like platform Weibo, the hashtag "how to view Quan Hongchan's home becoming an internet photo hotspot" was viewed more than 25 million times.

There was criticism over the actions of these influencers, who reportedly staked out the rural village in Guangdong province to livestream videos even after midnight.

Others knocked on the door to take selfies with her family members, while some tried to steal jackfruit from her home as souvenirs, local media said.

"If people are going to her house just to get followers, that's despicable. Her mother is sick, she shouldn't be disturbed," one Weibo comment read.

The village has now been closed to visitors as the large crowds violated Covid control measures, reports say.

Due to her years of training, the farmer's daughter said she had never been to a zoo or amusement park.

Her comments prompted a safari and amusement park in Guangzhou to announce free annual membership cards to all Chinese diving team members.

Other businesses and donors have come forth offering cash and gifts, including her favourite spicy street snack latiao - made from flour that is cooked and seasoned. Her father has reportedly declined cash gifts, and thanked donors for their "kind hearts".

Chinese social media users have been following the Olympic Games closely, as well as the achievements of their athletes.

Until the Games' last day on Sunday, China had led the Olympic medal tally before it was overtaken by the United States.

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