‘Smash glass ceiling into million pieces’ First woman of colour journeys to South Pole

Antarctica: Scientist reveals greatest discovery of South Pole

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Army officer Captain Preet Chandi, 32, has spoken out about her astonishing accomplishment at becoming the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole. Ms Chandi, who is from Derby, announced on Monday she had completed the gruelling 700 mile journey after 40 days.

During the trek she battled temperatures in Antarctica as low as -50C and wind speeds as high as 60mph.

The 32-year-old, who is Sikh, recorded a heartfelt message at the bottom of the Earth where she encouraged others to follow their dreams and challenge cultural norms.

After completing the 700-mile journey in 40 days, she said: “I made it to the South Pole where it’s snowing.

“Feeling so many emotions right now.

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“I knew nothing about the polar world three years ago and it feels so surreal to finally be here.

“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 labelled a rebel.

“I have been told ‘no’ on many occasions and told to ‘just do the normal thing’, but we create our own normal.”

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“I don’t want to just break the glass ceiling, I want to smash it into a million pieces.

“You are capable of anything you want. No matter where you are from or where your start line is, everybody starts somewhere. Who’s with me?”

Ms Chandi began the strenuous expedition on November 7, 2021, when she left Antarctica’s Hercules Inlet, around 700 miles from the South Pole.

She had spent two and a half years training for the historic journey, which included trekking across Iceland’s Langjökull Glacier, and spending nearly a month on an ice cap in Greenland.

The training was a necessary feat as she had to haul a 90kg sleigh along with 45 days worth of fuel, kit and food in the freezing conditions.

She wrote on her website Polarpreet: “There are only a few female adventurers that have completed a solo, unsupported trek on this continent.

“It is time to add some more names, diversity and to make history.

“I’ve always had this idea that I can achieve something great, something that allows me to be a role model.

“I want my eight-year-old niece to grow up without boundaries, knowing the possibilities of what you can achieve in life are endless.”

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