Harmonic Sponsors First Woman of Colour to Reach South Pole Solo

Harmonic is delighted to share the news that, on 3rd January 2022, Captain Preet Chandi – known as Polar Preet – reached the South Pole on a solo expedition that she successfully completed in 40 days. A British Army physio with a passion for ultra-marathons, mountaineering and endurance sports, Preet completed her expedition almost a week ahead of schedule and only two days behind the world record for a woman for this route.

But Preet has broken records of her own: she is the first woman of colour and first Asian woman to complete a solo crossing in Antarctica. Breaking stereotypes for women and girls from ethnic minorities is a cause very close to her heart, as she explained in her message from the Pole:

“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 to ‘just do the normal thing’, but we create our own normal. You are capable of anything you want. 

“No matter where you are from or where your start line is, everybody starts somewhere. I don’t want to just break the glass ceiling; I want to smash it into a million pieces.”

Preet is the first person to reach the South Pole on foot in the last two years. Enduring temperatures as low as -50C and wind speeds of up to 60mph, while pulling a 90kg sled – often over sastrugi (parallel wave-like ridges on the hard snow caused by winds) – and battling through whiteouts, she suffered from exhaustion towards the end of the journey, as well as a persistent cough and sickness.

Despite this, she averaged 17 miles a day, skiing the 700 miles from Hercules Inlet to the Pole. The Army’s Team Ethos commented that, “in a season in which a number of other South Pole expeditions have failed to reach their goals, Preet’s solo achievement is a standout success.”

Preet’s determination and ambition are admirable values which we are proud to share as her sponsors. Caroline Robertson from Harmonic was delighted to attend her launch event in London back in October, and the whole team has enjoyed following her progress since we joined her journey in March. We are all inspired by her eagerness for challenge and tenacity. Well done Preet on an incredible achievement.

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