WASHINGTON (Feb. 12, 2014)—Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet has been named the 2014 National Geographic People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year for pioneering a hybrid sport that combines trail running and alpinism to break numerous speed records and redefine what is possible in the mountains. He also popularized “sky running,” which involves blazing up technical terrain such as glaciers, rock ridges and steep snowfields in competitions. Jornet was selected from a group of 13 adventure innovators whose extraordinary achievements in exploration, conservation, humanitarianism and adventure sports distinguished them in the past year. More than 75,000 online votes — the most ever — were cast on the National Geographic Adventure website.
“I’m very proud of this award,” said Jornet. “While I don’t run to be admired or to have more followers, it’s truly an honor to be recognized by National Geographic and to know that people voted for me.”
Jornet, 26, brought sky running into the public eye with his unprecedented streak of breaking records and winning races. Most recently, he blazed up and down Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, in under five hours and went up and down the Matterhorn in a record-breaking two hours and 52 minutes. Both runs were part of Jornet’s Summits of My Life (www.summitsofmylife.com) project, which is his personal quest to set speed records on mountains around the globe. Through the project, Jornet hopes to share his love of mountains and the outdoors, a passion that began when he was growing up in a small ski village in the Catalan Pyrenees. For a video of Jornet, go to http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2014/kilian-jornet-video/.
“We believe that Kilian exemplifies the spirit of adventure in the truest sense of the word. He has demonstrated over and over that limits are meant to be pushed, and his growing list of remarkable accomplishments is truly inspiring,” said Mary Anne Potts, editor of National Geographic Adventure online. “We received a record number of online votes from our fans across the adventure community, and we’re thrilled to call Kilian the National Geographic 2014 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year.”
National Geographic has named Adventurers of the Year for the past nine years. Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner was voted the 2013 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year for his historic free fall from space.
This year’s 12 other honorees include a long-distance swimmer who was the first to swim from Cuba to Florida without protection from a shark cage; two veterans dedicated to establishing connections between veterans and the outdoors; and a snowboarder committed to helping brain injury survivors.
The other honorees are:
- Stacy Bare and Nick Watson — American adventurers and veterans
- Greg Long — American big-wave surfer
- Amy and Dave Freeman — American adventurers and educators
- Diana Nyad —American long-distance swimmer
- Kevin Pearce — American snowboarder
- Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted — Canadian alpinists
- Adam Ondra — Czech rock climber
- JP Auclair — Canadian skier
- Sarah Marquis — Swiss hiker
To learn more about each adventurer through photos, interviews and a video, go to http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2014/.
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National Geographic Travel is the travel arm of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, founded in 1888. National Geographic Travel creates, discovers and showcases meaningful and engaging travel experiences through National Geographic Traveler magazine; National Geographic Expeditions; travel books; maps; apps; digital travel content; the Adventure website; and travel photography programs. National Geographic Traveler (eight issues per year) is the world’s most widely read travel magazine and has 14 international editions. It is available by subscription, on newsstands in the United States and Canada, and digitally for tablets. National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the Society, offers a variety of unique travel experiences led by top experts to more than 60 destinations across all seven continents. Travel opportunities include family and student expeditions, active adventures, private jet trips and voyages on the six expedition ships in the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, as well as photography workshops, expeditions and seminars. The National Geographic Travel digital group offers inspiring and authoritative digital travel and adventure content such as trip ideas, photo galleries, blogs and apps. National Geographic Travel Books bring readers curated travel advice and inspiration. Follow National Geographic Travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.