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16 Mar 2005
IOC News , museum-news-articles

Conqueror of the Impossible

A long-awaited wintry evening in springtime. Mike Horn, Conqueror of the impossible, who has just walked 20,000 km across the Arctic polar circle, was recently at the Olympic Museum. Admired by some, disparaged by others, the extreme adventurer attracted more than 850 people, who were eager to see him, listen to him, speak to him and buy the book that he has written on his incredible odyssey.

60° below zero
Temperatures that sometimes drop to -60°. Lungs that burn with each breath, such is the cold. Blisters that burst. Frozen fingers and the spectre of amputation that comes to taunt you. Fear that a bone will break as the cold weakens the skeleton. Fear of falling asleep and never waking up. We asked him, “Why?” “Because it’s my job. I’m an adventurer, just as other people are bankers.” “But why do it? “ He recognised that his expeditions served no particular purpose, but that they made him happy. Which is already something…

Audience conquered
Alongside Mike Horn were Jean-Philippe Rapp, host, Professor Éric Jéquier, physiologist and renowned specialist in thermoregulation, and Philippe Rochat, famous chef who contributed to preparing meals for the expedition. After two hours of thrilling narrative, full of spills and thrills, suspense, laughter and emotion, Mike Horn was rewarded with a standing ovation from the audience, conquered by his straightforward manner and outspokenness. Philippe Rochat had already re-joined his stove. Professor Jéquier was silent, applauding, along with everyone else, the achievements of this great man.

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