Would you swim in this? Photo from Facts and Details: Water Pollution in China.
In terms of Expo stunts, this has to be one of the craziest: a man from Hubei is planning to swim 1,200km down the Yangtze River to visit the World Expo grounds in Shanghai. Yikes, has he never seen the condition of the Yangtze River here?
From Shanghai Daily:
This special journey has been a dream 44 years in the making for Bao.
“When I was 12, I traveled to Shanghai by ship,” he said. “The beautiful landscapes along the way impressed me so much that I wished one day I could swim along the route and stop wherever I chose.”
In his younger days, Bao had neither the time nor money to make the journey. But he kept on swimming and eventually he became known as the best swimmer in Wuhan.
His personal record was to swim across the Yangtze River five times in one day.
“Now at last, I’ll swim all the way to Shanghai, to fulfill my own dream and to see the World Expo,” said Bao…
Not to crap on his dreams or anything, but well… speaking of crap… just a few years ago, people were calling Yangtze “cancerous with pollution”, so filled with untreated agricultural and industrial waste that it could turn into a “dead river” within five years. Heck, the ministry of Environmental Protection only began enforcing dischages last year.
Bao addresses this briefly in the article, saying that “Many swimmers complain the Yangtze is badly polluted. I’ll find out if it is true… I hope I won’t become a ‘dirty fish’ by the end of the journey.”
Right. Dirty is one thing, but cancer-ridden, hepatitis contracted, heavy metal poisoned fish is another. I hope Bao is planning on swimming his “four hours a day, covering 40km at most” in a hazmat suit.