Wow what an achievement for Polar Preet as she reaches the South Pole!
Huge celebrations as Captain Preet Chandi arrived at the South Pole on 3rd January after her gruelling trek from the Hercules Inlet which took 40 days, 7 hours and 3 minutes. Already creating history as the first woman of colour to complete a solo crossing on the continent, she narrowly missed out on another milestone, the time set by Johanna Davidsson of Sweden who finished in 38 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes in 2016. Preet is now the third fastest female solo skier for this expedition behind Davidsson and Britain’s Hannah McKeand who recorded a time of 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes in 2006. She is also the first person to reach the South Pole on foot in two years.
This record breaking 700 mile solo journey over hostile and dangerous terrain is an extraordinary feat for Preet to have accomplished – or anyone for that matter. With a strength of character that most of us can only dream of, Preet had the determination and sheer grit to keep going through all the tribulations she faced on this epic uphill skiing expedition, traversing exhausting sastrugi (large waves formed by erosion of snow by wind) whilst battling wind speeds of up to 60mph and temperatures of -50C. Preet also suffered from exhaustion towards the end of the journey, as well as a persistent cough and sickness.
Team Army, Amey, Dell, Fujitsu, Harmonic, Microsoft, Qioptiq and Ultra are incredibly proud to have supported this amazing woman on her record breaking expedition and can only imagine the feats that she will accomplish in the future.
Maj Gen Lamont Kirkland, CEO Team Army said, “We are thrilled and delighted to have backed Capt Preet Chandi aka ‘Polar Preet’, who today achieved her incredible solo and unsupported trek to the South Pole. Her epic journey will surely inspire future generations to push their boundaries and believe that nothing is impossible. She will undoubtedly become a role model for young people from diverse and ethnic backgrounds to see a world with challenges rather than barriers. This has been an extraordinary and gruelling challenge and her story will likely have global impact.
The world needs more adventurous women so we are very grateful to the sponsors who have supported this incredible journey through Team Army/ Team Ethos.”
Checking in from day 40. I made it to the South Pole where it is snowing!
Feeling so many emotions right now, I knew nothing about the polar world three years ago and it feels so surreal to finally be here. It was tough getting here and I want to thank everybody for their support.
This expedition was always about so much more than me, I want to encourage people to push their boundaries and to believe in themselves and I want you to be able to do it without being labelled a rebel. I’ve been told ‘no’ on many occasions, and told to ‘just do the normal things’, but we create our own normal. You are capable of anything you want, no matter where you are from or where your start line is – everybody starts somewhere.
I don’t want to just break the glass ceiling, I want to smash it into a million pieces …. who’s with me?
When she’s not in the Antarctic, Preet is based at a Medical Regiment in the North West of England where her primary role is as a physiotherapist, she’s also the medical lead for the Army Rugby 7s team and occasionally works with the Army Engagement team.
Although Preet has a day job, her first love is adventure, and pushing mental and physical boundaries. As well as playing tennis competitively for the Army she has trained to become a Nordic ski instructor. She has hiked and climbed in Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Iceland and the Alps and last year she completed the gruelling Marathon des Sables – a six-day, 251km ultra-marathon in the Saharan desert.
“This is a solo expedition but I’m not doing this on my own, there are so many people supporting me.”
Captain Preet Chandi
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