What's buzzing:

Eh Game

Chinese farmer makes two-year-plus journey to London Olympics—by rickshaw

Andrew Bucholtz
Eh Game

View photo

.

Chinese farmer Chen Guanming rode his rickshaw over 60,000 kilometres to London.

It isn't just athletes who have spent years preparing for the Olympics. For 57-year-old Chinese farmer Chen Guanming, it's taken over two years to get to London. Guanming left his village in May 2010 and arrived in London July 9 this year, cycling over 60,000 kilometres through 16 different countries in his rickshaw. He's faced everything from flooding in Thailand to snowstorms in Turkey, and has gone through mountains, war zones and temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius, sleeping in the back of his rickshaw the whole way. It's a remarkable story, and one that shows how reaching the Olympics can be an inspirational goal for more than just athletes.

[Related: Canada's ambitious medal goal of top 12 in 2012]

This isn't the first time Guanming has been inspired by the Olympics. Back in 2001 when China was awarded the 2008 Games, he cycled from his hometown of Erchen to Beijing and picked up trash along the way. He led an anti-littering crusade in advance of the 2008 Olympics, reportedly travelling through 1,764 cities and covering more than 90,000 kilometres, then spending three months picking up trash around Beijing ahead of and during the Games. Olympic authorities gave him a ticket to the closing ceremonies as a reward, and the handover of the Olympic flag to London mayor Boris Johnson inspired Guanming to go on with his journey and cycle all the way to London. He told the BBC that it's been a worthwhile trip:

"London is especially beautiful," he says.

"People are very friendly. They always show warmth towards me.

"When I go back to China I want to tell them how civilised the English are."

It's tough to imagine spending more than two years on the road, especially cycling, but Guanming has the passport stamps and pictures to back his story up. It's been an epic journey full of trials, though. After leaving China, he went through the heat and humidity of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, where temperatures reached 38 degrees Celsius, and he also was caught in severe floods in Thailand. He was turned back at the border to Myanmar (formerly Burma), so he reversed course and wound his way through the mountains of Tibet, a remarkable task on a rickshaw with no gears. He's travelled across Asia and Europe, relying on small payments for courier services and donations from people inspired by his story, and now he's hoping to see Friday's Opening Ceremonies. Given the odds he's already overcome, don't bet against him finding a way in.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Can Canada have its best Summer Games performance since 1984?
Slideshow: London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony
Two-sport star Clara Hughes is in her comfort zone

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (43)
  • Hamilton takes pole at Malaysian GP

    Hamilton takes pole at Malaysian GP

    SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) -- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, beating his teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg by four tenths of a second in qualifying on Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • Hamilton storms to pole for Malaysian Grand Prix

    Hamilton storms to pole for Malaysian Grand Prix

    SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - World Champion Lewis Hamilton will start the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix from pole position after setting the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday. The Briton's championship leading team mate Nico Rosberg will … More »

    Reuters - 15 minutes ago
  • Renault’s Magnussen feels the heat

    Renault’s Magnussen feels the heat

    By Abhishek Takle SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Not even the blaze that engulfed his Renault could melt Kevin Magnussen’s Scandinavian reserve in Friday’s opening practice for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix, though he certainly felt the heat. … More »

    Reuters - 20 minutes ago
  • Mi Jung Hur birdies 18th to take LPGA Tour lead in China

    Mi Jung Hur birdied the par-5 18th hole for a 6-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Canadian Brooke Henderson on Saturday in the Reignwood LPGA Classic. Hur was 5 under on the back nine at Reignwood Pine Valley to take a 20-under 199 total into the … More »

    The Canadian Press - 31 minutes ago
  • Kvitova overpowers Cibulkova to win Wuhan Open

    Petra Kvitova overpowered Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1 Saturday to win the Wuhan Open for her first title of the year. The 14th-seeded Kvitova, who won the inaugural tournament in 2014, hit nine aces and converted six of seven break points to post … More »

    AP - Sports - 41 minutes ago