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Olympic rickshaw rider hits city

Chen Guan Ming, a farmer from southern China, packs up his rickshaw during a stop in Brandon on Tuesday. The 58-year-old started his journey in 2008 when he cycled 800 kilometres to the Olympic host city of Beijing. He then cycled across Asia and Europe to the 2012 London Games and is now heading across North and South America as he makes his way to Rio de Janeiro, host city of the 2016 Games.

COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Chen Guan Ming, a farmer from southern China, packs up his rickshaw during a stop in Brandon on Tuesday. The 58-year-old started his journey in 2008 when he cycled 800 kilometres to the Olympic host city of Beijing. He then cycled across Asia and Europe to the 2012 London Games and is now heading across North and South America as he makes his way to Rio de Janeiro, host city of the 2016 Games.

A Chinese farmer is living his dream of seeing the world — but not from a vantage point you might expect.

Chen Guan Ming has pedalled through 20 countries in his trusty rickshaw.

The epic journey began back in 2008 when Beijing hosted the Olympic Games. Chen decided to make the 800-kilometre trek on his rickshaw from the Tong Shan district of Xu Zhou City to Beijing.

That experienced sparked a fire inside, and in 2010, he embarked on a two-year journey to "spread the Olympic spirit" from China to London for the 2012 Summer Games.

His journey took him through a "flooded Thailand, the Himalayan foothills and war-torn Afghanistan," according to his website, chenolympicrickshaw.com.

The feisty 58-year-old has now set his sights on Rio de Janeiro, host city of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Chen and his rickshaw arrived in Halifax in September 2013. He has made his way west, and stopped in Brandon this week. His rickshaw received some repairs, and then he continued west, where he plans to travel through Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.

He will then head south across the U.S. border and plans to trek from the West Coast to the East Coast and eventually through Mexico.

Through a translator, Chen spoke about the "friendly" people who greet him along the way. On average, he pedals for 14 hours per day. When it’s time to rest, he puts a board on top of his seat and sleeps right in the rickshaw.

"It’s very comfortable," he said with a laugh.

On the back of his rickshaw, Chen has a sleeping bag, clothes, medicine, bike parts, water and food.

While in Brandon, he was greeted by locals who say they admire what Chen is doing.

"He’s doing this just for his dreams," said Bill Shi.

Chen has now travelled more than 147,000 kilometres with many more to go.

Once through Canada and the United States, he will navigate through "Mexico and Latin America, and then find a way around or through the mighty Amazon rainforest."

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @jillianaustin

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 20, 2014

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A Chinese farmer is living his dream of seeing the world — but not from a vantage point you might expect.

Chen Guan Ming has pedalled through 20 countries in his trusty rickshaw.

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A Chinese farmer is living his dream of seeing the world — but not from a vantage point you might expect.

Chen Guan Ming has pedalled through 20 countries in his trusty rickshaw.

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