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Man who's swimming to the Shanghai Expo now quarter way there

2010. 15 July

by Elaine Chow
( It's been a week since the crazy guy who decided to swim 1200KM to the Expo started off, and look! He's still alive! Not only that, he's swimming with a massive flag attached to his back.

56-year-old Bao Zhengbin revealed last week that he would be fulfilling a lifelong dream to swim from Wuhan to Shanghai. He's in top physical condition - allegedly, he once swum across his part of the river in Wuhan five times in one day. But the distance himself isn't the only thing he has to contend with.

While the days befo cre were hot, hot, hot, temperatures began decreasing on July 8, thanks to heavy rain. The Yangtze River's temperature has dropped to consistently below 24C (The Red Cross recommends that swimming temperatures stay at 25.5 or above). Recently, after getting out of the river to warm up, Bao has found he can't sweat for the next three hours.

Still, he's persisted and just passed Poyang Lake in Hukou County, Jiangxi yesterday. "Even with rain and low temperatures, I will persevere!" He told reporters.

If all goes according to plan, he'll reach Shanghai in 28 days, where he hopes he'll be welcomed for not just being an athlete, but also as an environmental warrior. I just want to reiterate that, considerng how polluted this stretch of the Yangtze is, he doesn't become an environmental martyr instead.