China / Society

Farmer plans long march to Beijing

By Xinhua in Taiyuan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-18 08:12

A 66-year-old farmer is preparing for a personal "Long March" to Beijing, which he will start in January to support China's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Ni Yusheng, a torchbearer for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will leave Taiyuan, the capital of North China's Shanxi province, on Jan 1, to walk to Beijing via Zhangjiakou, he told Xinhua on Monday.

The hike of more than 700 kilometers is expected to take Ni more than 50 days.

He said he wanted the walk to represent the start of "a war" on smog as well as to show his support for the joint bid by Beijing and Zhangjiakou to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Ni said that after hearing news of the bid, he decided to do something to encourage society to pay more attention to environmental issues.

"Smog poses a risk to people's health and will affect China's Winter Olympics bid," he said, while recalling the blue skies of his childhood.

This is not Ni's first "Long March". In 2000, he and five other farmers made the arduous journey to Beijing on donkey-drawn carts, singing Shanxi folk songs and educating the public on the Olympics along the way. After a journey of more than 20 days, they arrived in the capital.

However, because donkeys are not allowed to enter Beijing, Ni's group walked the final leg to meet the 2008 Olympic Games bid committee.

"I just wanted to tell them that farmers supported Beijing's bid," Ni said.

Hot Topics