In 2008, Chinese farmer Chen Guanming was inspired by the news of the 2008 Olympic Games coming to his home country. Instantly interested in this immense event, he traveled hundreds of miles away from his home in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, before reaching the Olympic Bird’s Nest. He set off towards Beijing the only way he could afford to travel; on a rickshaw.
The passing of the Olympic flag to the mayor of London was a key moment for Chen, inspiring him to go on an international journey to the London Olympic games in 2012. His purpose? To promote the spirit of Olympic internationalism, hoping to “contribute to World Peace and Environmental Protection” as it is written in both Chinese and English on his rickshaw.
Instead of taking a straight North-West route to England, Chen Guanming wanted to take his message to as many places as possible. He rode his rickshaw through extreme terrains and climates, traveling a winding path through East and Central Asia, often surviving on just bread and water, and funding himself by giving rides on his rickshaw and doing odd jobs.
After reaching London and attending the Olympic games in 2012 he made plans to continue his trip to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic games to spread the Olympic spirit. Today he can be spotted riding his rickshaw across the United States with both an American and a Chinese flag trailing behind him. Fans of Chen Guanming have been meeting him throughout his journey, sometimes offering food, drinks, and asking Chen for photos. There is a map of his US Route from information collected by fans’ real-time updates on his Facebook page. An update was posted two days ago that Chen was seen in a restaurant in West Virginia.
Here’s to spreading the Olympic spirit of world peace and cooperation in an unparalleled way. If you want to stay up to date on Chen Guanming’s tour, be sure to follow him on his Facebook fan page!