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云上岭南 Lingnan on the Cloud
Hailing from Guangzhou or Beijing, elderly riders averaging over 60 cycle to welcome the Asian Games in Hangzhou
来源:羊城晚报 云上岭南 作者:詹淑真 发表时间:2023-09-18 22:40

The 19th Asian Games are set to kick off in Hangzhou from September 23rd to October 8th. To celebrate this grand sporting event, a group of spirited individuals with an average age of over 60, embarked on an extraordinary journey, pedaling their way from Beijing or Guangzhou to reunite in Hangzhou.

This remarkable odyssey was undertaken in a seemingly audacious manner, demonstrating their love for life and fearless spirit. It serves as a testament that age is no barrier to action, as long as one possesses determination and passion.

On September 2nd, 66-year-old Chen Jianian joined the "Jing-Hang Dream Cycling Team". Their expedition commenced at Tongzhou, the starting point of the Grand Canal, and they reached Hangzhou on September 17th, marking the completion of their mission to welcome the Asian Games. The total distance exceeded 1600 kilometers.

"We believed that cycling to Hangzhou would help us enhance our physical fitness, and give up a chance to witness the beauty of our homeland in a unique way." Chen Jianian stated.

The journey comprised 22 participants, divided into two teams: the "Guangzhou-Hangzhou Team" and the "Beijing-Hangzhou Team," starting their respective journeys from the two Chinese cities that have hosted the Asian Games except Hangzhou.

When questioned about how this senior group overcame physical challenges and health issues, Chen Jianian candidly admitted, "Two months ago, we never imagined having the courage to embark on such an endeavor. When it was decided, we started training. Weekends were dedicated to regular training, which involved cycling to cities like Zhaoqing, Zhongshan, and Dongguan from Guangzhou, covering two to three hundred kilometers."

The Guangzhou-Hangzhou team began their journey in Guangzhou, passing through nine cities (Guangzhou, Huizhou, Chaozhou, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, Fuzhou, Wenzhou, Taizhou, and Hangzhou), all of which were historic stops on the Maritime Silk Road, giving the ride even more significance.

Most members of the Guangzhou-Hangzhou team are from the Guangzhou Dream Cycling Team, established in 2012. They have completed five international cycling journeys and were received by Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, three times. They have also participated in three Olympics (London, Rio de Janeiro, and Beijing Winter) and two Asian Games (Incheon and Jakarta), and even made appearances at the Beijing Winter Olympics bid presentation.

Chen Jianian, also a member of the Guangzhou Dream Cycling Team, chose the Beijing departure route for this particular endeavor. He shared his thoughts on the event's planning, stating, "Through cycling, we are connecting the three Asian Games host cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou. The endeavor of us, a group of elderly riders, embodies the power of the Olympic spirit. We hope to inspire more young people to engage in outdoor sports and cultivate a habit of working out."

Cycling about two thousand kilometers to welcome the Asian Games is just one of the many adventures in their long and eventful lives. As Chen Jianian aptly put it, "Age and adverse weather cannot deter a group of riders moving towards their goals. We cycle for a healthy life and the loved life itself."












文 | 记者 詹淑真
图片 | 受访者提供
翻译 | 刘佳慧