Sports fans in Hong Kong are scrambling for a chance to see China’s Olympic gold medal winners in person, judging from the rush for tickets for upcoming demonstration events in the city.
Tickets for sports demonstration events by the star athletes were sold out in just about three hours after they went on sale Monday.
China’s gold medalists from the Rio Olympics will be in the city this weekend following an invitation from the Hong Kong government.
During the three-day trip from Aug. 27, the athletes will be feted by local authorities and the public will get an opportunity to see the champions in action.
China won 26 gold medals in the just concluded summer games, apart from 18 silver and 26 bronze medals.
Most of the gold medal winners, including the diving and table tennis stars, are expected to showcase their skills in front of Hong Kong people during the weekend trip, which is being organized by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).
The LCSD began selling 5,700 tickets for the events, offering them at HK$20 each, with counters put up at the Hong Kong City Hall, Sha Tin Town Hall, Tuen Mun Town Hall and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The tickets were sold out within hours after the counters opened at 10 am Monday.
Many people began queuing up Sunday night itself, with some mainlanders also making special trips to Hong Kong to snap up the tickets, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Some scalpers sought to make a quick buck, putting the tickets on sale on the Taobao online platform as much as 1,000 yuan (HK$1,165).
Expressing concern over such activities, the LCSD is said be collecting evidence and forwarding it to the related departments for follow-up action.
The department pointed out that people who failed to obtain the tickets can still watch the demonstration events live on TV.
The final list of participating gold medalists will be known after the Chinese Olympic Committee takes a decision.
According to Sing Tao Daily, swimmer Fu Yuanhui, who won the hearts of many people with her candid remarks following her Olympic success, is among the confirmed participants in the Hong Kong events.
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