In what is commonly being referred to as a journey of hope, Grant Korgan who was paralyzed in a 2010 snowmobiling accident reached the South Pole on Jan.17, traveling about 75 miles in sub-zero temperatures over two weeks to complete the trip, reports The Associated Press.
The 33-year-old American ─ a mechanical engineer who started a nanotech company also co-founded Alpine Assassins, a professional team of snowmobilers that promotes the sport by filming rides and jumps ─ completed the journey on the 100th anniversary of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott’s trek there with the Terra Nova Expedition.
Korgan, who is paralyzed from the waist down, used a device called a sit-ski to reach the pole 100 years to the day after the British explorer completed the journey on Jan. 17, 1912.
A year ago, right after his accident, doctors told him and his wife that he wouldn’t be able to walk. He then decided to focus on helping other people and in 2010, his nonprofit making helped pay for therapy 10 athletes including quadriplegics, incomplete paraplegics and traumatic brain injury patients.
With his wife’s support, who is a professional trainer, he worked out at home eight hours a day, between therapy sessions, until he was able to feel his feet and walked across the gym floor.
On Sept. 15, 2010 Korgan stopped using a wheelchair. He used a walker instead for almost two months, until he was able to use the snowboard once again on his first anniversary after the accident in March.
The couple said one of the reasons they have fought so hard over the last year is to use their experience to help other people, “We want people to have hope,” Korgan said, according to Siobhan McAndrew, who narrates his story at Reno Gazette-Journal.
“Although my body has been broken, my spirit never will be. I am unbreakable!” Korgan said in a statement posted on the crew’s website.
The team who combined him in his journey have been working over the course of the year with various missions in Alaska, Norway, Lake Tahoe and South America. Korgan has been pushing the Sitski for over 250,000 times during his trip.
“This is a historic day in the name of recovery, technology, adventure and the human potential,” he said.
His journey was filmed with Paralympian John Davis two guides and cinematographers in a documentary called “The Push: A South Pole Adventure.” to raise fund for the High Fives Foundation, which helps injured winter athletes recover and get back to their sport safely. It also supports the Reeve Irvine Research Center, a science research facility at University of California, Irvine devoted to the study of repair, regeneration and recovery of function after spinal cord injury.