Chen Guanming is the 60-year-old man from China who loves the Olympics so much that he rode a rickshaw all the way to Rio just so he could attend the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Dubbed as the Chinese “Olympics Man,” Chen has also attended both the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. His arrival in Rio on July 30th marked his third Olympic experience, reported Xinhua (via Shanghaiist).
Fulfilling an obsession he developed in 2001 when it was first announced that Beijing will be hosting the 2008 Olympics, Chen first made an incredible 800 km journey from his home in Tong Shan district to reach the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing via his ageing tricycle in 2008.
Two years later in May 2010, Chen embarked on an epic two-year rickshaw journey from Tong Shan to London, England for the 2012 Olympic games. He pedaled 60,000 km through 16 countries and more than 1,700 cities before finally reaching his destination on July 9th, 2012.
After his successful London journey, he made a commitment to follow the Olympics wherever it goes using his trusted ride. “The tricycle is my transportation as well as my tent for sleeping,” he told reporters.
For his Rio trip, Chen had to cycle through the Americas over the course of three years to reach Brazil. He has been reportedly spotted riding his now popular rickshaw across Canada, through the USA and Mexico. He then continued his travel cycling through Latin America and the Amazon rain forest before safely landing in Rio, Brazil.
Chen, who has become a celebrity himself, attracts fans and followers wherever he is recognized with people taking selfies with him or tagging along in some of his stops. A Facebook page was even set up to allow his supporters to post their pictures of Chen and follow him through his amazing journeys.
“This is my job now, to tell the people of the world about the Olympics and about peace,” Chen told BBC back in 2013.“I will keep going. I’ll never stop doing the job I love until I die.”
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be held from August 5 to August 21.