A Farmer’s Epic Journey to See the 2012 Olympic Games
Guanming Chen, a farmer from China, literally traveled across the world to support this year’s Olympic Games.
What’s even more amazing is that he did it with his rickshaw. The 57-year-old started his journey in 2010. His plan was to make it to the opening ceremony.
“I came to support and cheer all the people from all over the world who are participating in the sports,” he said.
“I’m volunteering; I’m not looking for a reward.”
His rickshaw contained his possessions and pictures of him posing in front of famous landmarks, including the Petronas Twin Towers and the Eiffel Tower.
It was April 2010 when Chen started his long travel. He traveled through 16 countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey and Italy, before arriving in England.
Chen started arranging his itinerary and needed travel documents in 2009. His family and friends helped him to cover the expenses he needed. Also, people from the countries he visited — especially the Chinese community — helped.
His journey had its ups and downs, recalled Chen. His worst experiences were when he encountered floods in Thailand, and was trapped in freezing temperatures in Turkey.
British broker John Beeston found Chen lost in London.
“We are trying desperately to get him into the opening ceremony because his story has to go around the world,” he said.
Even though he failed to get in into the Olympic Stadium, he is very proud of his adventure.
“I came. I did it. I’m very happy to have come to beautiful London,” he said.
His travel plans do not end here, however. Chen now plans to go to Brazil.
“I want to go to the Rio Games, too.”