Double amputee On top of the world

Mark Inglis conquered Everest becoming the first ever double amputee to do so.  

The year 1982 marked the turning point in the life of Mark Inglis when his failed attempt to summit Mt. Cook resulted in him losing both his legs due to frost bite. Filled with grit and determination, he faced a somewhat similar situation in 2006 while climbing Mt. Everest when some of his fingers were once again frostbitten.

The only difference this time was that Mr. Inglis went on to conquer Everest becoming the first ever double amputee to do so. “I had lost four fingers and I have no regrets whatsoever. When you take a decision in life, be ready to face the consequences,” says Mr. Inglis, a New Zealander who also won silver medal at the Sydney Paralympic Games in 2000.

In the city to give a talk to the students of Woxsen School of Business, Mr. Inglis wears many hats including that of motivational speaker, scientist and writer.

In a chat with Rahul Devulapalli , Mr. Inglis shares his experiences.

Share the toughest and most memorable moment during the Mt. Everest expedition.

While on my way to Mt. Everest, my oxygen mask was broken. I was a couple of hours away from the final point. I had a choice to go back but I decided to move forward and fulfil my dream. This was my best decision and I became the first double amputee to climb Mt. Everest.

How tough was it to build the prosthetics or devices required for running, mountaineering and cycling?

There is hardly any equipment available for double amputee athletes in the market. It took me and an engineer two years to make the right shoes and supporting equipment meant to be used for mountaineering. We have improvised ever since and developed a fourth model of it. I have also built separate equipment to help me in cycling and running.

Since there very few double amputees who would take up such activities, it commercially not viable to manufacture them on a large scale. However, if anyone is interested they can approach us and we will help them by building these special equipment.

What is the condition of the para-athletes and what can be done to improve the situation?

The situation is improving and we can see more number of para-athletes participating in events. There are good opportunities but also challenges faced by them. Getting sponsorship is tough for these athletes across the world.

You are a motivation speaker talking to various groups of people, mostly students and corporate employees. From your life experiences of undertaking risky expeditions and conquering summits, what are the three traits that will equally benefit those who also want to climb up the ladder in the professional or personal life?

The most important one is visualisation. You need to visualise the successes and challenges that come your way. Know how to get around and find your way to the point you want to end up. Second most important quality is to have a positive attitude. It is everything. Look at the opportunities, identify them and make the most of it.

What are your future plans?

I want people to change their attitude towards physical challenge. Whenever I give talks, I tell people to be more accepting. I will meet as many people as I can and create awareness on this issue in the future.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 5:12:58 PM |

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