The nation’s Olympic gold medallists will visit Macau from Monday to Thursday next week, the government announced on Tuesday.
According to Sports Bureau (ID) President Pu Weng Kun, the medallists will visit Macau’s cultural heritage sites, meet about 1,500 young people, join three events, and visit community facilities during the four-day visit.
The delegation will arrive in Macau after a three-day visit to Hong Kong.
Pun said he wasn’t able to reveal the full list of medallists who will visit Macau. “All the  gold medallists will certainly come,” Pun said, adding he had asked the central government to allow two of Team China’s best-known athletes, outspoken swimmer Fu Yuanhui and popular badminton player Lin Dan, to join the trip to Macau even though they didn’t win gold medals.
According to Pun, the delegation members will attend three events, two of which will require free admission tickets.
Pun said that a total of 5,700 free tickets for the two events 4,500 tickets for a gala at Macau Dome in Cotai on Tuesdaynight and 1,200 tickets for interactive sports activities with local youngsters at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion on Wednesday – will be distributed to citizens at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion from 7 p.m. tomorrow and from 10 a.m. on Friday. Pun said each resident will be allowed no more than two tickets for each event. He said the tickets would be handed out on a “first-come-first-serve” basis.
The medallists will stay in Macau for one more day than they did in 2012, Government Information Bureau (GCS) Director Victor Chan Chi Ping said.
Chan said the reason was to give different segments of civil society more chances to meet the national sports heroes.
Chan also said the government would spend some 12 million patacas on the visit.
Questioned whether the government would give the medallists any prize money, Chan said the government wouldn’t but some members of the public would. However, Chan said he couldn’t provide reporters with the amount as the government was still collecting the money, stressing that the government was only a “bridge” between the public and the athletes and would be the one to hand over the money.
Questioned if the government would reserve some tickets for the underprivileged like the Hong Kong government did, Pun said that some tickets for the gala had been reserved for the public, adding that some of the tickets for that event would perhaps be reserved for social welfare recipients.
Asked by reporters why the tickets are free, unlike in Hong Kong where citizens have to fork out HK$20, Pun said the tickets for the Olympic gold medallists’ events in Macau had been free for many years to encourage more people to meet them. Pun said the government was simply doing what it had done before.
Pun also said his bureau would communicate with other government entities to prevent ticket scalping.
Team China won 27 gold, 18 silver and 26 bronze medals in Rio. Chinese Taipei garnered one gold and two bronze medals.