Chinese Olympics ‘ambassador’ visits Riyadh

Cao Da Fo sees himself as a promoter of goodwill and cultural exchange. (AN photo)
Updated 16 January 2019

Chinese Olympics ‘ambassador’ visits Riyadh

  • Cao Da Fo has visited 194 countries for the promotion of 2022 Winter Olympic Games
  • Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics

RIYADH: A Beijing-based volunteer traveled to Riyadh last week as part of his mission to visit every country in the world and promote the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which are being held in the Chinese capital.

Cao Da Fo has visited 194 countries, with 39 places left on his itinerary before he heads home to his wife and four children. 

He was at the South Pole before coming to Saudi Arabia, where he spent three days in Riyadh. 

Cao spoke warmly of the reception he has received on his travels, booking a flight to the Kingdom the day after his visa was confirmed by the embassy in Beijing. 

“Many of the people of the countries I have visited so far have been very welcoming and generous to me, offering assistance, food and water,” he told Arab News.

The longest period he has been away from home is 150 days, he added.

Cao started his round the world tour in 1999 to promote China’s goal of hosting the Winter Olympics in 2002.

The bid failed but Cao continued championing China as a host for the event. He sold off properties to finance the tour and has spent around $1.5 million on his mission. 

“It will give a good name to my homeland; it’s for the love of my country,” he said, when asked what inspired him to travel the world. “Since I became so involved in the Olympics, I no longer strive for material things.”

His trips to other countries show him posing for photos with locals and holding a colorful flag that features the sporting event’s famous five rings.

He said the Summer Olympics of 2008 changed Beijing forever. 

“When I was little, I didn’t even dream that this could happen, that the subway could run so near my home, that China could attain more worldly knowledge, that we could appear more international,” he has said in previous interviews.

Cao also sees himself as a promoter of goodwill and cultural exchange.

“I feel like the Olympic torch is more like a spark of hope for the whole world.”

Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. It was selected as the host city in July 2015.


First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

Updated 18 August 2019

First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

  • Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries

Saudi Minister of Transport and Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Dr. Nabeel Al-Amoudi, oversaw the departure of the first 

group of pilgrims under the Eyab initiative on Saturday together with GACA President Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri.

Eyab seeks to improve services provided to pilgrims, with the authority aiming to enrich pilgrims’ experience at the Kingdom’s airports. It is expected to benefit 30,000 pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.

Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries, inspected the services available and received a briefing from the initiative’s officials.

GACA started an experimental implementation of Eyab this year, aimed at pilgrims returning to Indonesia, India and Malaysia through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport.