British TV presenter Helen Skelton has arrived at the South Pole and completed her grueling 500 mile expedition across Antarctica for Sport Relief – as a result she has become the first person to use a bike as part of an expedition to the South Pole.
Despite having to battle severe snow storms, temperatures as low as – 48 degrees Celsius, numerous blisters, a hacking cough, ongoing tummy troubles and a bad bout of dehydration, Helen covered 500 Antarctic miles in just 18 days by ski, by kite and in a world first by bike. When Helen arrived at the South Pole she celebrated by proudly staking her flag in the frozen ground to mark the end of her incredible journey.
Upon arriving at the South Pole, Helen Skelton said: “This has been a massive adventure and at times it felt like it was never going to end. My body hurts in so many different places, mentally I’m exhausted and I’ve only washed once in the last 30 days, so to be finally standing at the pole feels incredible. I’ve seen how Sport Relief money makes a big difference and that’s why I can’t complain about any part of this because it’s nothing compared to what some people go through every day of their lives.”
During her challenge the daredevil presenter set a new Guinness World Records title for the Fastest 100km by kite ski. Helen covered 100km across Antarctica by kite assisted ski in just 7 hours and 28 minutes, the equivalent of travelling between London and Northampton.
This was one of the toughest physical challenges ever undertaken in aid of Sport Relief and the public can still show their support and sponsor Helen now at sportrelief.com/helen.
Britain’s most famous explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, said: “I take my hat off to Helen Skelton. I have to admit when she first told me that she was going to cycle part of the way to the South Pole, I laughed. But through pure grit and determination she has got there and shown that yes you can use a bike to reach the Pole. Her incredible efforts are a great example of willpower.”
All the action from Helen’s Polar Challenge for Sport Relief will be shown in a special nine-week series on Blue Peter starting on Monday 23rd January at 4:30pm on BBC One.
Super Skelton is no stranger to conquering the impossible. For Sport Relief 2010, she kayaked 2,010 miles down the Amazon River in the process achieved two Guinness World Records. Not content with that, in February 2011 Helen became the first person to high-wire walk between the chimneys of Battersea Power Station for Red Nose Day.
Helen hopes her incredible efforts will inspire people around the UK to enter the Sport Relief Mile and raise money to help those living incredibly tough lives in the UK and the world’s poorest countries.
For more information about Helen’s Polar Challenge for Sport Relief or to enter the Sport Relief Mile visit sportrelief.com/helen.