Original article on Russia Today here
Published 26 February, 2010, 18:27
Edited 01 March, 2010, 18:51
Russia Today TV report
Russian teenagers to win the North
A team of brave young Russian explorers is to go on an expedition to the North Pole, raising money for charity.
The crew, consisting of mostly teenagers plus a couple of parents, hopes to attract funds to help Russian children from poor backgrounds realize their extraordinary talents. For example, one potential benefactor is a young ballet dancer.
“Hopefully he’ll become a famous dancer, and use his talent to give back to others, and then help sick kids or orphans. The main idea is talented child could help many more people around him,” Dina Karpova, Director of Bonas Macfarlane, one of the companies sponsoring the trip, told RT.
The participants themselves have to raise £100,000 for the charity. If they don’t reach it, the expedition is off. They are pitching their fund-raising idea to businessmen in Moscow. It’s been tough finding donations so far, but some attempts were successful.
“The idea is very close to my heart, because it’s optimistic and healthy. It implies helping young and brilliant people, and enables them to achieve a new level of success. It’s not an attempt to support the poor of poor, it’s about aiding future benefactors,” said Beslan Agrba, Director of Mistral company.
But for the financial challenge, the team, of course, will have a very hard physical one. Being on top of the world is not always feeling good, especially when it is below -30 degrees Celsius outside and crazy winds blow you off your feet. In addition, each of the 7 participants will be dragging 40kg loads for 7 days.
The crew is training really hard, balancing on beams 10 meters off the ground, using stoves to cook their meals, melting snow for water, and sheltering in tents.
Still, the boys are looking forward to the expedition.
“I’m very excited about it; I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. But I know it’s going to be very difficult at the same time, so I’m a bit nervous about it,” said team member Ivan Karpov.
The inexperienced team is in the capable hands of Matvey Sparo. One of only two men to reach the North pole in the depths of winter, he is no stranger to the challenges ahead.
“It doesn’t matter how long your trip to the North Pole is, 90 days or 7 days, you’ll face the same challenges – drifting ice, open water, polar bears, crazy winds, and temperatures 35 degrees below zero. And no matter what, every morning you have to leave this warm comfortable tent and keep going to make your 18 kilometers,” Matvey Sparo told RT.