WASHINGTON (March 5, 2013)—Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner has been selected as the 2013 National Geographic People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year for his historic free fall from space. Baumgartner was selected from a group of 10 adventure innovators whose extraordinary achievements in exploration, conservation, humanitarianism and adventure sports distinguished them in the past year. Nearly 55,000 online votes determined the final selection on the National Geographic Adventure website.
“I was honored just to be on the same list with the other nominees,” said Baumgartner. “National Geographic has been opening people’s eyes to the world’s adventures for over a century, so being awarded this title is humbling. The fact that so many people made the effort to vote for me means the most of all. During the preparations for my jump, the support of fans kept me going through the tough times of waiting and uncertainty. It’s great to know that so many people are still following the mission.”
Baumgartner completed a seven-year quest to become the first person to break the speed of sound without the protection or propulsion of a vehicle when he free fell from 127,852.4 feet above Earth on Oct. 14, 2012. He also set three official world records. The 43-year-old has made a career out of pushing the boundaries of human flight with daring skydiving and BASE-jumping feats around the world. For a gallery of pictures and an interview with Baumgartner, go to http://on.natgeo.com/W2iPBw.
“Felix Baumgartner captured the world’s attention when he free fell from the edge of space, utterly alone, 24.2 miles above Earth, and higher than anyone had ever attempted. In that moment he inspired people, young and old, to dream big and find their own adventures,” said Mary Anne Potts, editor of National Geographic Adventure online. “While each of the 10 Adventurer of the Year honorees is remarkable, we are thrilled that our audience has voted for Felix to be the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year.”
National Geographic has named Adventurers of the Year for the past eight years. This year’s nine other honorees include a surfer who rides giant waves, a skier who landed the first sit-ski backflip and a mountain biker who pedaled across cultural boundaries. The honorees are:
- Josh Dueck — Canadian skier
- Steve Fisher — South African kayaker
- Shannon Galpin — American biker and humanitarian
- Lizzy Hawker — British ultrarunner
- Jeremy Jones — American snowboarder
- David Lama — Austrian climber
- Mike Libecki — American explorer
- Ramon Navarro — Chilean surfer
- Renan Ozturk — American artist
To learn more about each adventurer through photos, interviews and a video, go to http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2013/.
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, school publishing programs, exhibitions, live events, travel programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal published in English and 37 local-language editions, is read by more than 60 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 440 million households in 171 countries in 38 languages. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 25 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.