China’s teen diving superstar Quan Hongchan is so popular after her Olympic glory, her home has been mobbed by fans desperate to get a selfie with her.
- Local media reported at least 2,000 fans had been visiting Quan’s family a day
- The local authority has been forced to bar visitors
- Weibo and Tiktok say they are opposed to social media users intruding on Quan’s family
Quan’s new fans have rushed to her Maihe village home to try to get pictures or videos of the 14-year-old dive sensation.
Quan opened her official account on China’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo, on August 5 and she already has more than 800,000 fans.
Local media said at least 2,000 people had been visiting her family a day.
Some people were live streaming their visits and shouting till 9:00pm.
The local authority has been forced to bar visitors. Even one of the top-level CCP mouthpieces has published an article criticising the “impolite”, “outrageous”, and “selfish” behaviour of fans.
Zhongguo Jijian Jiancha Bao, the newspaper governed by CCP’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said: “Those influencers who disregard public order and good customs and trample on society’s limit should be punished.”
Tiktok published an announcement on August 8 that the social media giant “firmly” opposed the fans’ behaviour and warned it would “not recommend” their content, it might “remove” it and it could even “ban the accounts”.
Weibo users said the social media influencers involved should be banned.
“They always have no moral baseline,” one said.
“Her (Quan’s) mum is sick and will be disturbed.”
“The authorities should intervene and control it. This is a trespass of privacy. It disturbs others’ normal life and it is illegal,” another said.
China’s divers are programmed from an early age to strive for perfection.
The 14-year-old Quan delivered it with two of her five dives in a dominant performance that won her the gold medal in the women’s 10-metre platform at the Tokyo Olympics.
All seven judges gave Quan perfect 10s for her second and fourth dives in the five-round competition.
Quan dedicated her victory to her mother, who is ill.
“I want to make enough money to support her,” Quan said through an interpreter.
“I listen to my coach very carefully and follow his instructions very carefully.”
Quan’s mother has been in hospital on many occasions after being in a serious car accident years ago.
“I want to make enough money to support her,” Quan said at the Olympics.
Quan first achieved perfection with an inward three and a half somersaults tuck. Then more “oohs” and “aahs” followed a backward armstand with two somersaults and one and a half twists.
For her final dive, a backward pike with two and a half somersaults and one and a half twists, Quan received six more 10s.
With IOC president Thomas Bach watching at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Quan ended with 466.20 points to win by a massive margin.
Her Chinese teammate Chen Yuxi claimed the silver medal with 425.40 points.
The 15-year-old Chen won the 10-metre platform title at the 2019 world championships and also took gold at these Games in the 10-metre synchro with teammate Zhang Jiaqi.
But Quan, who was the youngest member of China’s Olympic team in Tokyo, is performing at another level.
Chen acknowledged that Quan already was ahead of where she was when she was Quan’s age.
Quan became the second-youngest Chinese gold medallist in the event at the Olympics after Fu Mingxia won it in 1992 at age 13.
Perfectly serious during the event, Quan was full of giggles afterwards while talking to reporters.
Barely tall enough to be seen behind a microphone, Quan said she had celebrated by eating latiao, a spicy Chinese snack.