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NO MEAN FEAT
Every now and again, amid the doom and gloom of war, violence and poverty, our attention is drawn to the achievements of individuals who have overcome substantial difficulties and serve as an inspiration to us all. One such man is New Zealander Mark Inglis.
Until the 1980s, Mr Inglis worked as a Search and Rescue mountaineer in the Mount Cook National Park. He began his career as a professional climber in 1979 and proved himself courageous and determined even then. However, in November 1982, an event occurred which was to change his life forever. Called out on what first appeared to be a routine rescue operation, Mark Inglis and his partner Philip Doole were caught in a storm near the summit of Mount Cook. For the following 14 days, the two men were trapped by some of the worst weather the mountain has, forcing them to seek shelter in an ice cave which has since become known as ‘Middle Peak Hotel’. Incredibly, as the weather cleared, the two men were found still alive in their cave, but two weeks of freezing conditions had taken their toll. Both men had succumbed to frostbite, and, as Inglis recounts in his book No Mean Feat, they both lost their lower legs.
It is not just as an author that Inglis has managed to carve a new life for himself. Since his time in Middle Peak Hotel, he has graduated from Lincoln University with a first class degree in Biochemistry and has also developed a successful career with Montana wines as a Senior Wine Maker. Montana Wines hails from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, as does Inglis himself, and the brands from the company – including Deutz and Lindauer – have achieved international recognition.
An impressive effort for a double amputee, but nowhere near as impressive as Inglis’s contributions to sport. He remains a keen mountaineer, cyclist and skier, having learned to ski using two prosthetic legs. He has been skiing at an international level since the 1990s and won a silver medal in the one kilometre cycling pursuit race in the Sydney Paralympic Games of 2000. In 2002, Inglis faced his biggest challenge to date as he once again went to the Mount Cook National Park and climbed the very mountain that caused his disability. Not content with this one success, Inglis has since gone on to higher peaks and, in August 2004, Inglis reached the summit of Cho Oyo in the Himalayas, an accomplishment worthy of the title ‘no mean feat’ considering that it is the world’s sixth highest mountain.
With so many achievements in the face of what many would consider to have been overwhelming odds, it is perhaps not surprising that Inglis has also made a name for himself as a motivational speaker. He believes that we can all achieve success with a positive attitude, but perhaps his strongest message is that disability is an inaccurate term for people who simply have, in his own words, ‘different opportunities’. In 2003, Inglis was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the community. It was in the same year that he travelled around the country with his inspirational roadshow ‘INZONE’, speaking to over 50 000 people with words of encouragement and support.
Inglis’s affiliations to charities and societies are endless. He is the National Ambassador for the CCS, and is also the Ambassador for Outward Bound programmes offered to people with special needs. Inglis also devotes time to the Marlborough First Light Programme, which promotes and funds Outward Bound programmes to local youth.
In addition, Inglis is also involved in Work Choice Day (a programme designed to assist school leavers in making career choices), is a patron of the Cambodia Trust Aotearoa and associated with Back-Up New Zealand. With so many demands on his time, it’s little wonder that he likes to get away to the top of a mountain every now and again.
Now complete the text below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER FROM THE TEXT
Show answer(Routine) rescue operation
Show answerMiddle Peak Hotel
Show answer(Two) prosthetic legs
Show answer(The) Himalayas
Show answerDifferent opportunities