Sichuan father denies intense workout bad for 6-year-old son

PHOTO: Handout

A father who is making his 6-year-old son cycle up to 70 km a day every day while carrying 7kg in supplies has dismissed netizen’s claims that is mistreating the boy.

Despite mounting criticism online, Zhang Yu said he has subjected his son Wangwang to intense physical training for the past year with no major problems.

“I don’t care what others say,” he said. “I hope this makes him into a tough person. Anyway, this is better than playing games at home.”

Father and his son set off on a cycling tour on Jan 17 with 30 kg of luggage, including a tent, pots and pans, seven mobile phone chargers, and bicycle repair tools. They have slept in the tent every night and cooked most meals.

The duo started in Guangyuan, Sichuan, and will travel through Mianyang and Chengdu before finishing up in Chongqing. They plan to return by the same route.

“When Wangwang says he is too tired to continue traveling, I ask him to wash his face with cold water to energize himself. But ultimately, it‘s up to him,” Zhang said.

Last year, Zhang made an online video showing Wangwang walking a tightrope that was viewed more than 10,000 times.

Wang was trained to walk on a tightrope by his father since he was 5.Photo: Weibo

Since then, critics have challenged the father’s unique education methods.

“Some people say I use my son to get public attention. I don’t mind,” Zhang said. “My only hope is that Wangwang can grow up safely and has a better mentality when he is faced with inequity in the future.”

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