Preet Chandi, dubbed Polar Preet, pulled a 90kg (198lb) sled through temperatures as low as minus 50°C (minus 58°F) and gusts as high as 60mph (97kph). “I have been told ‘No’ on many occasions and to ‘just do the normal thing’, but we create our own normal. You are capable of anything you want,” said Chandi who completed the trek in a little over 40 days
Captain Chandi, a physio from the 3 Medical Regiment, came close to beating Johanna Davidsson’s 2016 record time. The 32-year-old woman from Derby finished almost a week ahead of schedule, skiing from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole in 40 days, seven hours, and three minutes, reports Skye News.
Chandi has become the first Sikh and colored woman to complete a solo expedition in Antarctica. She has also been raising money for @Khalsa_Aid over the course of her incredibly challenging journey.
She kept everything up to date on Instagram: “Hello everyone, checking in from day 40. I made it to the South Pole where it’s snowing. I’m 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.”
Although Chandi was exhausted towards the conclusion of the trek, she also had a chronic cough and nausea. She is hoping her achievement will inspire others, writing: “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 labeled a rebel.” She is now the third-fastest woman to cross the continent on foot and the first in two years to reach the South Pole.
“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. I have been told ‘No’ on many occasions and to ‘just do the normal thing’, but we create our own normal. You are capable of anything you want.”
“I have been watching Polar Preet’s Antarctic endeavours with admiration and awe as I have seen her maintain incredible distances and pace every single day of her expedition,” said Brigadier Elizabeth Faithfull-Davies CBE, Commander 102 Logistic Brigade.
“I am absolutely delighted to hear that she has achieved her ambition of reaching the South Pole and so proud that she has demonstrated how much we can all achieve if we set our minds to it. She is an inspiration to us all and she is a fabulous role model as the first woman of colour to complete this impressive feat.”