Chen Guangbiao, a well-known, if controversial, entrepreneur and philanthropist, has admitted to Chinese media that his high-profile Ice Bucket Challenge last year was fake.
Last August, Chen, who made his fortune from recycling, took up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which became famous worldwide as celebrities joined the fundraising campaign for the treatment and research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
But instead of just pouring a bucket of ice water onto himself, Chen dipped himself in a huge garbage bin and asked assistants to pour 30 buckets of cold water with ice cubes into the container, where he supposedly stayed for 30 minutes.
He then offered to donate 1 million yuan ($161,411) to ALS research if anyone could break his 30-minute record.
Many doubted his feat even then, but he had insisted he could endure the cold water because he knew kung fu and once trained at the Shaolin Temple.
This week, Chen told local media that the cold water and the ice cubes poured onto him were genuine, but it was also true that the bin already contained hot water with a temperature of about 50°C before he dipped into it, thus enabling him to endure the ice-cold water poured by his staff.
It’s not cheating, it’s an “exaggerated piece of performance art”, he said, adding that the pictures and videos posted on his Weibo account were planned in advance.
Some academics said Chen owes the public an apology as his behavior was an insult to people’s intelligence and medical science, am730 reported.
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