Nat Geo: Experts question Colin O’Brady’s trek


O'Brady disputes accusations

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — National Geographic on Sunday posted a scathing article criticizing athlete Colin O’Brady’s new book The Impossible First.

The article examined whether he embellished or exaggerated his accomplishment of being the first person to ski alone and unassisted across Antarctica. They talked with experts who claim he was on a graded and flagged route used by tourists for parts of it.

“Key details do not withstand scrutiny,” the article states.

O’Brady is a Portland native and visited the KOIN 6 studios on Thursday. We did not discuss the accusations made by National Geographic.

However in a statement through his publicists to KOIN 6 News, O’Brady said, “I stand by every word in my book.”

O’Brady also responded to the accusations on Instagram Thursday, saying the article is “inaccurate” and that he plans to write the publisher to dispute it.

View this post on Instagram

TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY – A couple of days ago I was stunned to see a confusing article in Nat Geo about my expeditions. I’m not sure how or why they got the facts so twisted around, but I assure you the article is full of inaccuracies. Here’s just one example—the article inaccurately states “O’Brady claims to be the first person to ski alone and unsupported across Antarctica . . .” It’s as if the journalist may not have read my book. The photo above is from page 49 of The Impossible First, where I acknowledge and compliment one of the most pioneering Antarctic projects of all time. I write, “The Norwegian adventurer Borge Ousland in many ways defined the terrain of astonishing modern Antarctic feats, becoming the first person to cross Antarctica solo when he traveled eighteen hundred miles alone in sixty-three days from late 1996 to early 1997. Not only did he cross the entire landmass of Antarctica, but he also crossed the full Ronne and Ross Ice Shelves from the ocean's edge. Ousland’s expedition, which had deeply inspired me, was unsupported in that he’d hauled all his food and fuel with no resupplies . . .” Ousland used a parawing (kite) and traveled much farther than I did. I was completely human powered, crossing just the landmass. Apples and oranges. I look forward to continuing to express my humility, gratitude, and appreciation for those who came before me, and I’ll be cheering from the front row all future expeditions in Antarctica that will inevitably continue to push the boundaries. You all know that a big part of how I live revolves around transparency—sharing my journeys and my ups and downs with the world. It’s why I keep my GPS live throughout every expedition so you can see where I am and where I’ve been. So, I’m going to keep following that practice with this issue. I’m putting together a letter to the Nat Geo editor providing them with the supporting materials they can use to correct the record. Because there are a number of errors, it’s going to take me a few days to finish it. When I do I’ll post a copy of the letter on my website.

A post shared by Colin O'Brady (@colinobrady) on

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