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David Hempleman-Adams honoured for his adventures
A WORLD-renowned explorer has been presented with a prestigious medal for his unique achievements on Mount Everest to mark 60 years since the mountain was first conquered.
Swindon-born David Hempleman-Adams was awarded the Mount Everest Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Nepalese government at the PATA Travel Mart Show in China this week.
Little over 60 years ago, on May 2, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay stood together on top of the world as the first men to conquer Mount Everest.
Thousands of people have since climbed Everest.
Of the limited medals issued by the Nepalese government during this anniversary year, most have gone, deservedly, to Sherpas.
Mr Hempleman-Adams was one of very few Westerners to receive the accolade.
The medal was presented by Subash Niroula, chief executive of the Nepal Tourist Board on behalf of the Nepalese government, which issued it for unique achievements on Everest as part of the Adventurers’ Grand Slam – reaching both poles and the seven highest summits in the world.
Mr Niroula said: “Our two countries have co-operated together for many years and I am proud and honoured to present this prestigious medal on behalf of the government of Nepal.”
Mr Hempleman-Adams, 56, who lives in Box, Wiltshire, is the first person in history to complete the highly coveted Adventurers’ Grand Slam, finally completing it in May 1998 after an 18-year odyssey, but his efforts have been more than rewarded.
He said: “I feel incredibly honoured to have received this medal.
“I knew many of the original team who made that first ascent 60 years ago and I am still in awe of their achievements with the knowledge and equipment they had then.
“While I climbed Everest from the southern Nepalese side in 1993 and from the Chinese north side in 2011, this medal was awarded to me for being the first person to achieve the Grand Slam.
“It is especially pleasing when another country recognises you. Mr Niroula’s comments were very generous and complimentary; it’s a truly humbling experience.”