92-year-old Chinese becomes oldest person to reach the South Pole

BY SILVI WRITER

“Now I’ve had all my dreams come true,” said Qiu Xiegeng, who became the oldest person to reach the South Pole earlier this month.

The 92-year old reached the South Pole, about 17,000 km away from his hometown in eastern China, during this Spring Festival holidays.

Before Qiu, American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, was the oldest person to reach there, the Sun reported in Dec 2016.

Aldrin, who was onboard Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission in 1969 and stepped off the spacecraft after Neil Armstrong, was 86 years of age when he made it to the South Pole.

In addition to the South Pole, Qiu, from Suzhou in Jiangsu province, has travelled the entire world.

On Feb 9, Qiu arrived at China’s Great Wall Station located very near the South Pole deep within the Antarctic continent accompanied by his son.

Qiu was excited when sharing his meaningful story with family via video chat — this dream was not his alone, but also that of his late wife.

Qiu Xiegeng and late wife

Both Qiu and his wife were fond of travel. The couple went abroad for the first time in 1999 and visited almost every place in the world, except the South Pole, over the past few decades.

Unfortunately, she died of illness in October last year. After mourning, Qiu decided to bring forward his travel to the South Pole to fulfill his wife’s last wish.

Qiu and his son began their journey on Feb 5 after three-month preparation. He walked 4 to 5 kilometers per day or rode 20 kilometers per day. He was the oldest member of the team of 70 people.

Over the past few decades, Qiu visited 53 countries and regions in the world, except for the South Pole.

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