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Chinese teenager Quan Hongchan’s perfect score victory for gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has turned her into a worldwide sensation, but the 14-year-old’s celebrity status is now attracting thousands of unwanted tourists in her small hometown.
Tourists and internet celebrities chasing social media clout have flocked to her village of Maihe in the province of Guangdong to take photos and broadcast livestreams, reported China Discipline Inspection and Supervision News. According to the state news outlet, the village has been seeing up to 2,000 daily visitors, who reportedly hang around and make noise late into the night against the wishes of Quan’s family and neighbors.
Elderly people in the village were unable to sleep for two straight days because of the chaos, said the report. It added that some people have even been trying to pick from a jackfruit tree outside Quan’s home. Videos and photos on Chinese social media platform Weibo show tourists crowding around village homes, drawing criticism from people in the comments.
Village authorities have had enough, and have since closed off the area to visitors, said local media.
Quan’s fame as a young Olympic gold medalist has been further amplified by her humble background. Born in a little-known rural village, she said she took up professional diving to pay for the medical bills of her sick mother, who was injured in a car accident in 2017.
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