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Event Detail


The First Blind Person to Race to the South Pole

Mark Pollock
Monday, 23 Apr 2018
Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Talk 7.30 pm
Function Room, 1/F, Ladies Recreation Club, 10 Old Peak Road
Pre-payment. Please scroll down.
The Royal Geographical Society is pleased to welcome Mark Pollock to Hong Kong to speak on “The First Blind Person to Race to the South Pole". Despite going blind in 1998, Mark Pollock went on to compete in ultra-endurance races across deserts, mountains and the polar ice caps, including becoming the first blind person to race to the South Pole. He also won silver and bronze medals for rowing at the Commonwealth Games. In this talk, he tells the extraordinary story of his overcoming blindness to reach the summits of achievement.

Mr Pollock raced to the South Pole as part of a three-man team called South Pole Flag.  With Simon O'Donnell and Inge Solheim, he took 43 days in January 2009 to complete the Amundsen Omega 3 South Pole Race.  They travelled 770 kilometres, averaging 14 hours trekking each day, whilst pulling sleds behind them.  He pulled a 200lb sled for 43 days.  Temperatures dropped as low as -50c during the expedition, and he suffered from blisters, hunger and extreme exhaustion. 

Then in 2010, Mr Pollock was left paralysed after falling from a second story window.  He is now exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery combining an innovative electrical stimulator over his spinal cord and a drug super-charging his nervous system, whilst walking hundreds of thousands of steps in his Ekso Bionics robotic legs.  

Mark Pollock hails from Northern Ireland in the UK and has degrees from Trinity College Dublin and The Smurfit Business School.  He also holds honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and from Queens University Belfast, a diploma in Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century from Harvard University.  He is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and has been appointed to the Global Futures Council on Human Enhancement.  He runs a motivational speaking business (www.markpollock.com), is a co-founder of the global running series Run in the Dark and is an ambassador for Wings for Life Spinal Research Foundation (UK).  He has also written a book titled Making It Happen.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for RGS Members and HK$200 for their guests.




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