Fencing champion Edgar Cheung Ka-long, whose victory Monday gave Hong Kong a historic Olympic win, is walking away with more than just a gold medal—cash prizes and a host of freebies await the 24-year-old overnight star when he returns home.
Through the government’s Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme, the Olympic medalist is receiving a sum of HK$5 million (US$640,000). The tiered scheme awards athletes who place 8th and above with individual cash prizes starting from HK$312,500 (US$40,000).
Chairperson of the Hong Kong Sports Institute Lam Tai-fai is giving Cheung HK$2.5 million (US$320,000), having promised Cheung and other graduates of a school named after Lam in 2018 that they would become “homeowners” if they ever win an Olympic medal, Citizen News reported.
With enough money to buy a flat, furniture retailer Pricerite announced on Facebook that they will sponsor free furniture and home decor for Cheung’s future dream home.
Public transport companies are also offering generous rewards. The MTR announced that Cheung will receive a lifetime of free rides, while other Olympic athletes will get free train rides for a year, RTHK reported. Hong Kong athletes competing in Tokyo can hitch free bus trips for a year, KMB wrote on Facebook.
And should Cheung wish to get inked? A tattoo parlor has the star athlete covered—he’ll receive free tattoo services for life, the studio announced in a congratulatory Facebook post.