BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's famous ultra-marathon runner Chen Penbin announced on Thursday that he has joined China's national cross-country team, hoping to secure a ticket to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
"It is a big challenge, and I love challenges," said the 40-year-old Chen, who has never skied before.
Chen was born in the island of Jishan, Zhejiang province. He has changed his life from a fisherman to a successful ultra-marathon runner, and he wants to change it again.
"When the national team asked me, it didn't take me long to make the decision," said Chen, who ran 100km in South Pole in 2014, becoming the first Chinese runner to compete in ultra-marathon in all seven continents. "You don't have many opportunities in your life, and this is my opportunity as I has always dreamed to compete for my country."
Chen has trained with the national cross-country team for about 20 days. "I fell a lot," he said. "Actually I fell more than 100 times in the past 20 days. I am a rookie in skiing, and I have to learn from zero. I thought skiing has something similar with running, but they are quite different."
"As for now my aim is to compete at the Olympic Games," said Chen.
According to Chen's fitness trainer Chang Xi, Chen has advantage in stamina and perseverance.
"He is the most perseverant person I know, " said Chang. "I think he can fulfill his dream as an Olympian."
Chen came to be known as China's "Forrest Gump" after he became the only athlete in history to run 100 marathons in 100 consecutive days in 2015. He was also the winner of the Grand to Grand Ultra 273km in the United States this September. Enditem