This is one of the more amazing stories that I’ve come across in awhile. A Chinese farmer, Chen Guanming, started his trek back in 2010 and rode through 16 countries and approximately 40,000 miles, on a rickshaw. Chen said that he arrived at Britain on a ferry from France on July 6th.
The reason the 57-year old made the journey? He was invited by members of the British media back in 2008 and wanted to support the Olympics. ”I came to support and cheer all the people from all over the world who are participating in the sports. I’m volunteering, I’m not looking for a reward.” He was also inspired by the Olympic torch being handed over to London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, at the closing ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Chen’s journey on a three-wheeled, peddle-driven rickshaw included going through Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey and Italy. He says that the worst parts came during Thailand’s floods and being trapped in freezing temperatures in the snow in Turkey.
Chen’s story hasn’t been verified, but he did arrive in Britain with a passport full of visas and photos from several of his stops along the way.
The rice and crop farmer began planning his trip in 2009, arranging his visas and getting help financially from friends. He came all this way, however, without the security of a ticket for Friday’s Opening Ceremony. Nonetheless, Chen is pleased he made the trip and to be a part of the Olympics, ”I came. I did it. I’m very happy to have come to beautiful London.”
Chen also plans on going to the 2016 game in Rio de Janeiro. ”I want to go to the Rio Games too.” He’ll be following the Olympic torch on another long journey; this one will include crossing a large body of water.
[Pic and story via Associated Press]