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Blind Explorer Reaches South Pole

  • Date: 2009/01/27 Disabled World
  • Synopsis : A blind athlete from Northern Ireland has reached the South Pole becoming the first blind person to ever do so.

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An athlete from Northern Ireland has reached the South Pole, becoming the first blind person to achieve the feat.

An athlete from Northern Ireland has reached the South Pole, becoming the first blind person to achieve the feat.

Mark Pollock, 32, completed the hazardous journey across the Antarctic wilderness as part of a three-man team participating in an epic race inspired by Scott and Amundsen nearly 100 years ago.

Team SouthPoleFlag was one of six teams that competed in The South Pole Race which started on January 4th. Team SouthPoleFlag.com came in fifth in the race to the south pole.

The teams competing in the South Pole race had been due to depart on New Year's Day but bad weather, including blizzard conditions, delayed the start of the trek.

A very happy Mark said that it felt "absolutely unreal" to have reached their final destination. Mark is now considering organizing expeditions for blind teenagers so he can inspire others to challenge their boundaries.

Mark went blind when he was 22 and studying at Trinity College, Dublin. He won a silver medal rowing for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth games, finished the 250km Gobi Desert ultramarathon and raced in the North Pole marathon. In 2007 he became the first blind person to complete the lowest and highest marathons in the world, the Dead Sea Ultra in Jordan, followed by the Tenzing-Hillary Everest marathon in Nepal.

South Pole Race Positions:

1st - Team Missing Link

2nd - Team QinetiQ

3rd - Team Danske Bank

4th - Team Due South

5th - Team South Pole Flag

6th - Team Southern Lights

The race to the pole event was the first race to the South Pole for almost 100 years since the famous showdown between Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen in 1912.

Among those who took place are double Olympic Gold Medalist James Cracknell, TV presenter Ben Fogle, and Peter Hammond (61), the oldest competitor in the race.

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