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Explorer breaks own British record in Antarctica

January 15th, 2020

An adventurous Old Monmothian has beaten his own British record for reaching the South Pole.

Former Monmouth School for Boys’ student, Richard Parks, arrived at the South Pole at 9.29am today (Wednesday 15th January).

The former Wales rugby international overcame hunger and terrible weather conditions in Antarctica to finish his expedition in 28 days.

He is the first person to have completed the coast to pole journey solo, unassisted, unsupported more than once.

Richard has skied more miles solo, unsupported and unassisted in Antarctica than any other person in history.

Headmaster at Monmouth School for Boys, Dr Andrew Daniel, said: “We are delighted to see Richard demonstrate incredible resilience, bravery and commitment to achieve such a remarkable feat in the bleakest of conditions.

“We always encourage our pupils to take opportunities and to push themselves out of their comfort zones and Richard is a tremendous role model for all our students at Monmouth.”

In 2011, Richard became the first person to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents and stand on the North and South poles in the same calendar year.

He set the previous British record for skiing coast to pole in Antarctica, solo, unsupported, unassisted in 2014.

Last year, Richard had set out to beat that record but was forced to cut his expedition short after seeking medical advice.

Looking back on his time at Monmouth School for Boys, Richard said recently: “When I reflect on my days at Monmouth, I was able to try so many new things and I had so many opportunities.

“Not being afraid to fail and having the courage to attempt new things are values that coming to Monmouth instilled in me. As an adult, I realise that failure is an integral part of our achievements.”

Please watch Richard talking about his experiences and memories of his school days in Monmouth

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