China's Olympic heroes, who made the country so proud during the Athens Games, richly deserved the cash bonus the government gave them for their efforts.
Now, many of those athletes are showing just what heroes they really are, by putting their bonus back into the community.
Take 19-year-old, Zhu Qinan, who won a gold medal in the men's 10m air rifle. He is planning to spend part of the bonus helping victims in his disaster-affected hometown in Zhejiang province.
China's strongest women, Tang Gonghong, who won the country's 18th gold medal in the over 75kg weightlifting class, wants to use her money to build a house for her aging parents in a rural area because they don't want to live in the city.
While Beijing-based Zhang Yining, who won two gold medals of the table tennis, says she just wants to give her gold medals to her coach.
In addition, many local enterprises are eager to invite the Olympic heroes to endorse their sports equipment and sporting goods.
A Shandong hotel plans to build bronze statues of four Shandong-based gold medal winners, Du Li, Liu Chunhong, Tang Gonghong and Xing Huina.
One thing is certain; China won't forget its gold medal heroes as it prepares to host the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
(CRI September 2, 2004)