WASHINGTON (Nov. 12, 2009)–National Geographic Adventure magazine has selected 16 individuals as 2009’s Adventurers of the Year, recognizing extraordinary achievements in exploration, conservation, action sports and humanitarian work. The honorees are featured in the December 2009/January 2010 “Best of Adventure” issue of the magazine (on newsstands Nov. 24). A robust and interactive Best of Adventure Web portal with more than 100 pages of content also highlights the 2009 Adventurer of the Year honorees with in-depth feature profiles, exhilarating videos and photo galleries. This year, for the first time, readers can cast a vote online for the honoree they believe best embodies the spirit of adventure. The winner will receive the first-ever “Adventurer of the Year: Readers’ Choice Award.” Voting, at www.ngadventure.com, begins today and ends Jan. 15, 2010. The Readers’ Choice winner will be announced online on Jan. 19, 2010.
A group of 30 explorers, scientists, journalists and luminaries in the world of adventure served on an advisory board for the nomination of this year’s top adventurers. The class of 2009 includes a BASE jumper, military veterans, an explorer, road trippers, a surfer, an astronaut, an ultra runner, an educator, a filmmaker and a scientist. They are:
–Khadija Bahram, supported by the aid organization International Rescue Committee, guided an educational program that stretches across five provinces in war-torn Afghanistan reaching more than 10,000 pupils, mostly girls, as well as disabled children.
–Stephen Bouey and Steven Shoppman crossed 69 countries and racked up more than 77,000 miles during a two-and-a-half-year road trip that circumnavigated the globe by road.
–Maya Gabeira, the only sponsored female big-wave surfer in the world, surfed the largest wave by a woman ever, landing a 45-footer at South Africa’s Dungeons break.
–John Grunsfeld, known as NASA’s “Hubble Repairman,” braved hurtling space debris to pull off the repair to end all repairs: Working at zero gravity some 350 miles above the surface of the Earth, the astronaut restored sight to a half-blind Hubble.
–Marc Hoffmeister, an injured Iraq veteran, organized a team of climbers, including his wife, Gayle Hoffmeister, his friend, Bob Haines, and injured vets Jon Kuniholm, Matt Nyman and David Shebib, to attempt the dangerous West Buttress route of Denali in Alaska.
–Albert Yu-Min Lin organized a high-risk, high-stakes project into Mongolia’s “Forbidden Zone” to search for the lost tomb of Genghis Kahn, using state-of-the art, cutting-edge mapping technologies.
–Dean Potter recorded the longest BASE jump ever — 2 minutes and 50 seconds — while wearing a wingsuit that allowed him to cover some 9,000 vertical feet and nearly four horizontal miles in distance.
–Louie Psihoyos assembled an “Ocean’s 11”-esque crew to expose and end the annual slaughter of hundreds of dolphins for meat in Taiji, Japan, a story told in the award-winning film “The Cove.”
–Diane Van Deren, survivor of a successful lobectomy, became the first and only woman to complete the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a 430-mile run across frozen tundra in the dead of winter.
–Katey Walter Anthony mounted an expedition to Siberia to seek out and measure beds of thawing permafrost — a major source of methane gas, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than CO2, yet is not factored into most climate change models.
The National Geographic Adventure Adventurers of the Year feature is presented and sponsored by South African Tourism, South African Airways and Budweiser American Ale.
About National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Adventure, winner of four National Magazine Awards, is the fastest-growing magazine in the outdoor category and the ultimate guide to the adventure lifestyle. Published eight times a year, with a rate base of 625,000, National Geographic Adventure has
2.8 million readers. It is available by subscription (800-NGS-LINE) and on newsstands in the United States ($4.99) and Canada ($6.99). Its editorial mission supports National Geographic’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet. The magazine’s Web site iswww.nationalgeographic.com/adventure.
National Geographic Society