Israeli cyclist completes international odyssey


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Israeli cyclist Roei “Jinji” Sadan, who has spent the past four years crossing 42 countries on six continents, reached his final destination.

Sadan, 29, arrived at the Sydney Opera House Thursday afternoon on his 27-gear, custom-built, blue-and-white bicycle sporting the Israeli and Australian flags.

It marked the official end of his globetrotting odyssey that spanned some 40,000 miles. Part of the trek was spent as a goodwill ambassador for Israel.

“I’m excited, but it’s also a weird feeling because this is the end,” Sadan said in Sydney.

He was greeted by representatives of the Zionist Council of New South Wales, which has organized an event Sunday to celebrate Sadan’s achievement.

In 2009, during a brief visit home, Minister of Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein gave Sadan his blessing to be a roving ambassador for Israel. Since then he has spoken to more than 1,500 children as well as given interviews to scores of media outlets about the “real” Israel. Sadan is scheduled to speak to several school and community events while in Sydney.

During his adventure, which cost about $60,000 — part of it covered by his sponsor, the Israeli water company Mey Eden — he was held up at gunpoint in Mexico,
bitten by a wild dog in Peru, contracted malaria in Mozambique and hit by a car in Bolivia.

Sadan said he intends to become a motivational speaker and wants to transform his diaries into a book that he hopes will inspire people to follow their dreams.

Next weekend he will fly to Thailand and then on to Jordan before cycling to Jerusalem, where he hopes to be the star attraction at a homecoming event at the
Western Wall.

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