Chen Guanming, the Chinese farmer who earned fame by traveling the world on his rickshaw to promote the Olympic spirit, was killed last week in Argentina after being hit by a truck.
Chen was on his way to the Glaciar Perito Moreno, a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina’s Santa Cruz province, when the tragic accident took place, according to reports.
He was pronounced dead on the spot after his rickshaw was hit by a fully-loaded truck on Thursday.
Local police arrested the truck driver after the accident on the Puerto San Julian highway near Santa Cruz, according to Apple Daily.
The accident occurred only a few hours after Chen, 61, who bears nicknames such as ‘Olympic madman” and “Chinese Forrest Gump”, had posted a photo of him and an Argentinian woman on Weibo.
In another post, Chen had informed his fans that he was facing some difficulty on the road as the weather was windier than he had expected.
He had been wearing a safety vest at the time to remind drivers, but it was not enough to save his life.
Chen had pedaled over 170,000 kilometers since 2001, traveling around the world to promote the spirit of the Olympic games.
He had told the media at Buenos Aires that he would like to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Chinese man insisted that he did not feel tired despite all the biking he has done over the years.
He said he wanted to share the pride of being a Chinese after the Beijing Olympics and wanted to go back to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as the final destination for his trip.
Planning to exit Argentina through Chile and up to Peru, he had hoped to reach Tokyo by 2022.
Following the news of his death, thousands of netizens paid tribute to Chen, calling him a true sportsman who understood the spirit of the Olympics.
Chen’s act of sportsmanship would be remembered, commentators said. Although his life had been a bumpy ride, he would be remembered as a hero, people said.
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