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Prince Harry and Captain Ibrar Ali reach South Pole
PRINCE Harry and his fellow adventurers, including a wounded soldier from North Yorkshire, have reached the South Pole.
After more than three weeks pulling sleds across the frozen wastes of Antarctica, the group stood at the bottom of the world at midday yesterday, the organisers of the Walking With The Wounded charity trek announced.
The adventurers include 12 servicemen and women from the UK and other nations, including Captain Ibrar Ali, from Eggborough, near Selby, who have suffered terrible injuries in conflict, including the loss of limbs.
Their trek took them more than 200 miles across the bleak continent to the geographic South Pole.
The Prince joined part of the 2011 Walking With The Wounded trek to the North Pole, but was determined to play a full part in the 2013 expedition and was named its patron earlier in the year.
Ed Parker, the expedition’s director and co-founder of the Walking With The Wounded charity that organised the challenge, said: “We always knew that this wasn’t going to be easy, but that is what makes the challenge so exciting.
“Our aim was to show that, despite injury, young men and women from our armed forces can still achieve great things.
“We came down here, determined to get 12 men and women, all injured in conflict, to the South Pole, and this is what we have done. The feeling is incredible.”
Originally the challenge was a race between three teams – a UK group including Harry; a US team led by Hollywood actor Alexander Skarsgard, star of the hit HBO series True Blood; and a Commonwealth group which included English actor Dominic West, from the popular series The Wire.
But the teams encountered difficult terrain which forced organisers to suspend the competition last weekend and make the expedition a group effort. There had been safety fears, as some competitors were becoming very tired.
Harry, who has grown a ginger beard during his weeks on the ice, welcomed the decision when he recorded a voice blog earlier this week and said morale was high among the men and women taking part in the challenge.
Just a few weeks before the group set off for Antarctica he broke a toe but later joked it was not enough to get him out of the challenge.
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