A rickshaw driver waits for passengers on a street in central Beijing
Credits: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY
Chen Guanming, 57, spent two years on his three-wheeled rickshaw travelling from China through floods and freezing temperatures in 16 countries to arrive at his destination earlier this month, BBC reports.
John Beeston of London said he spotted Guanming looking lost and downhearted in the city's west end alongside his rickshaw. The farmer didn't speak any English and "burst into life" when Beeston spoke to him in Mandarin.
"I'm a big fan of Olympic Games," the humble man from Jiangsu province in eastern China said. "I wanted to come here because I wanted the whole world to support the Olympics and be part of it."
His painstaking journey - supported by donations and delivering packages en route - took him through floods in Thailand, up 7,000-metre-high mountains in Tibet and bone chilling -30 C temperatures in Turkey.
He eventually arrived in London July 6 with dreams of attending the opening ceremonies.
Guanming has previously cycled to the Olympic Games in Beijing from his hometown and plans to travel to Brazil for Rio in 2016.
"It's like telling people that a Martian has landed in the garden," Beeston told BBC News. "But, what he's done isn't dissimilar to what Marco Polo did and the Italians named an airport after him."