56-year-old man swims 1,200 km to visit Expo Park

12:49, August 10, 2010      

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Bao Zhengbing from Wuhan, a man who planned to swim from Wuhan to Shanghai to visit the Shanghai World Expo, successfully arrived at Chongming Island in Shanghai at 8 a.m. on Aug. 8.

On the afternoon of Aug. 8, the 56-year-old swimmer finally visited the Expo Park and realized his Expo dream.

Full of good wishes for the Shanghai Expo, Bao began his spectacular feat of swimming from Wuhan to Shanghai via the Yangtze River to visit the Shanghai World Expo on July 7.

During his journey, Bao swam through Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu to Shanghai, and swam across dozens of Yangtze River bridges.

The journey had 32 stops, lasted 32 days and covered 1,200 kilometers in the Yangtze River.

Bao is also a "swimming poet" and an environmental protection volunteer. During his journey, he publicized his long poem themed on environmental protection titled "Protect the Yangtze River" in order to encourage people living on both sides of the Yangtze River to protect the mother river together.

To successfully complete his journey, Bao prepared for himself a pair of homemade rubber shoes, a sun-block mask and a water-proof mobile phone, which he jointly called the "three auspicious items" to help him accomplish the "impossible mission."

The journey turned out to be not as easy as Bao had imagined. On the second day after he set off, heavy rain poured down on the Yangtze River and the water level rose rapidly. In the next two weeks, the area along the Yangtze River from Hubei to Jiangxi was shrouded in heavy rain and raging winds and the temperature also dropped about 10 degrees Celsius compared to the same period in history.

Bao said that swimming four to five hours in cold water at a temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius every day was a challenge he has never faced before.

However, he eventually overcame the rainstorm through perseverance and determination.

By People's Daily Online


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