One could argue that western civilization which includes northern Africa or the Mediterranean basin as a whole was refined by the Greeks and solidified by the Romans. The cultural values regarding sports and achievement are still being practiced some 3,000 years later.
So how do the Chinese treat their Olympians?
From the Chicago Tribune:
Chinese swimmers Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen both received apartments worth 3 million yuan ($472,600) from a company in their hometown of Hangzhou, according to the China Daily.
Hangzhou also plans to build statues for the swimmers to honor their efforts at the Olympics.
Double gold medalist Sun, who broke the men's 1,500 meters world record, was named "Zhejiang Model Worker" and given 2.6 million yuan, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Ye, who also won two gold medals in London, received the same title as well as 1.8 million yuan.
And how did the ancient Greeks treat their Olympians:
"... Successful contestants were commonly treated like heroes ever after the Olympics. They didn’t only get free meals, cash and tax breaks once they had returned to their home cities, but they were also considered leaders of local communities, memorialized in statues and victory odes. Along with most respectable citizens they could expect to be given special places in the theatre and invitations to different banquets..."
To my Chinese readers, I chose this Chinese Republic flag circa 1925 because of the fish which I found charming and quite reminiscent of what great swimmers your country is producing today.