The level of dedication it takes for Olympic athletes to reach their final destination is nothing short of extraordinary. Sometimes, however, they aren’t the only people willing to sacrifice everything to reach their goals.
That’s most certainly the case for the father of Swiss skier Mischa Gasser, who rode his bicycle over 10,500 miles — from Switzerland to South Korea — to watch his son compete in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Guido Huwiler, 55, and his wife Rita Ruttimann embarked on their epic trek back on Feb. 2, 2017, starting in Switzerland and ending up in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a week to spare ahead of Gasser’s first run in the Aerials competition at Phoenix Snow Park Saturday night.
“My dad is crazy,” Gasser laughed after his qualifying Saturday night (h/t Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports). “He was a skydiver as well in his younger age. It’s just what they have to do.”
Huwiler chronicled his epic journey with a blog, which you definitely need to check out here.
All told, Huwiler and Ruttimann made their way through 20 nations over the course of the past year — Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and finally South Korea.
They did need to take two plane trips along the way due to logistical issues (couldn’t bike through North Korea and didn’t get approval to ride through China), but in no way does that detract from the amazing journey they completed.