TOKYO – China’s 14-year-old diving sensation Quan Hongchan made headlines after clinching gold at the women’s 10m platform at the Tokyo Olympics yesterday(August 5).
Her compatriot, Chen Yuxi grabbed the silver medal while Australia’s Melissa Wu had to settle for bronze.
This keeps China’s winning streak alive, where its diving team has claimed gold in all events since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
However, Quan’s victory came at a bittersweet note after she revealed the reason behind her intense training to thepaper.cn.
During the interview, Quan Hongchan first thanked her parents for encouraging her throughout her diving career.
“They told me to be brave and to go all out. I also want to thank everyone who have supported me.”
She then went on to say that her mother is currently sick and in desperate need of financial assistance for her treatments.
That’s why I want to earn as much as I can, so that she can use it for her treatment. I want her to recover.”
When asked what went through her mind while standing on the platform, Quan Hongchan quipped that she merely followed her instincts.
“I didn’t feel anything in particular and just went for the dive. This is something I occasionally experience during my training sessions,” she said.
Quan Hongchan’s Father: “She’s all grown up now”
GuangDong Sports Channel later contacted Quan Hongchan’s father for his thoughts over his daughter’s Olympic victory.
He said that he was surprised by Quan’s words as he never told her about her mother’s condition.
I only realised that she knew about it when I saw the TV interview. I believe she’s all grown up now.”
According to Sohu Sports, Quan was born into a low-income family in Guangdong and her parents worked as farmers.
Quan told Sohu Sports that she stayed at home during her holiday break due to financial issues.
I’ve never been to a playground, nor to a zoo. I hope I can go to the playground after the Olympics.”
Her story has undoubtedly warmed numerous hearts online, with some urging advertisers to provide her and her family financial assistance.
Cover Images via RTM Olympic
Proofreader: Sarah Yeoh