Wed, Jan 09, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Team returns from the South Pole

By Yao Chieh-hsiu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Five members of Taiwan’s first Antarctic expedition are pictured in an undated photograph taken at the South Pole. The team returned to Taiwan yesterday.

Photo courtesy of the Gamania Cheer Up Foundation

Entrepreneur Albert Liu (劉柏園) and ultramarathon runner Tommy Chen (陳彥博) yesterday returned to Taiwan after successfully reaching the South Pole as members of the nation’s first Antarctic expedition last month.

Liu, chief executive officer of Gamania Digital Entertainment and founder of the Gamania Cheer Up Foundation, spoke to reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport from a chair, saying he was still recovering from an injury.

The expedition was organized to mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the foundation and it involved three other participants, including actor and entertainer Chris Wang (王宥勝), Liu said.

Director Yang Li-chou (楊力州) accompanied the team to make a documentary about the expedition, he added.

The group left Taipei on Nov. 13 last year and upon arriving in Antarctica found that blizzards had unexpectedly made the planned 660km “Coast to Pole” route impassable, the team said.

After consulting weather reports and taking stock of their rations and supplies, they opted to reach the pole via a shorter, but more difficult, 350km trek across the continental plateau.

The team arrived at the South Pole at 6pm on Dec. 22, despite minus-30°C temperatures, cutting winds that tore the fabric of the team flag, white-out conditions, and cases of hypothermia and frostbite, they said.

“The journey was more precious to me than reaching the destination,” Liu said.

Chen showed reporters a glass jar that he said contained “South Pole air.”

The team dined on fried chicken cutlets and tapioca tea at the airport, before Chen’s mother appeared with homemade oyster noodles, the ultramarathon runner’s favorite treat.

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