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Watford FC fan, Andy Smith, passes 2,000km mark on World Cup stadium charity cycle in Brazil
A Watford FC fan from Oxhey who embarked on a five-month charity cycle ride, encompassing 12 stadiums in Brazil, has arrived at the home of the next Olympic Games and football World Cup.
Andy Smith celebrated his first full month in the country by passing the 2,000km (1,243 miles) mark.
Since setting off, the 35-year-old has visited four 2014 World Cup stadiums including the Estadio Beira-Rio, in Porto Alegre, the Arena da Baixada, Curitiba and the Arena de Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo.
Most recently he was shown around The Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. The stadium was used in the last Brazilian World Cup, in 1950, and will be the host site for the final match of the 2014 World Cup.
It will also host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games.
Mr Smith described the visit as an "amazing experience".
Before the end of the month Mr Smith will visit his fifth stadium in a tour of 12, the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.
Mr Smith arrived in Porto Alegre at the end of January and by the end of his trip will have cycled more than 5,500 miles, to the Arena Amazonia, Manaus, to see England play Italy on June 14.
Along the way he will visit all 12 stadiums used in the 2014 football World Cup, and is hoping to raise money for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust.
However, it hasn’t been a simple sight-seeing tour for Mr Smith, who has also had to put his first aid training to use after seeing a pedestrian hit by a car.
He said: "On my way into Barbacena I saw a man get badly hit by a car - I was 50 metres and as I glanced ahead I heard a crunch and literally saw a pair of feet spin up in the air.
"I saw the man’s body lying prostrate in the road. In those few seconds my brain was flooded with shock, horror and suddenly a stream of jumbled memories from the Red Cross First Aid session that I attended in London before coming to Brazil.
"The man’s two companions were stood with hands on heads just frozen, maybe thinking he was already dead. The car that hit him had stopped a little further up the road.
"I jumped off my bike and ran over, whilst at the same time shouting to people nearby to call an ambulance.
"He was breathing but certainly wasn’t conscious. I had to get him on his side with his airways clear, especially as I could see there was blood and other fluid in his mouth.
"I rolled him into the best recovery position I could, propping up his back with my knee, and tried to rest his head so that he wouldn’t choke.
"Eventually at long last the ambulance arrived so I moved away back to my bike, and then the shock hit me of what I’d just seen and done, so I was shaking and also realised there was now a big crowd of concerned locals gathered around the scene.
"The ambulance crew got the victim onto a stretcher and into the vehicle. I’ve really got no idea if what I did made any difference to the victim’s chances of survival, or even if my actions were technically correct, but at least I had some basic knowledge to try and apply in a positive way, so I’m very glad that I attended that first aid course."
Mr Smith has currently collected nearly £1,700 towards his aim of £5,500.
If you would like to donate visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=SmudgerSambaCycle