1. ITV Report

Antarctic expedition ends for Richard Parks

Credit: Richard Parks

Former Wales rugby player Richard Parks’ expedition to ski solo, unassisted and unsupported from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole has been cut short, ending prematurely on day 17 after skiing for 492.2km/306miles.

As reported yesterday, Mr Parks' body was starting to show significant strain following two weeks of pushing hard to keep within touching distance of the solo coast to pole world speed record in some of the worst weather conditions this region of Antarctica has seen in years.

His team says run down, exhausted and in a lot of pain, he also had the warning signs of a cold injury in his left foot which made him stop skiing on day 14, take a day off and once again stop skiing yesterday, on day 16 of his expedition.

After more medical advice from doctors at ALE (Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions) in Antarctica, and discussions with his team, Richard has decided to end his expedition to prevent the risk of further cold damage and a potential frostbite injury and further complications to his health.

It’s been a difficult decision, my mind was so willing to carry on and make it to the pole regardless of any time I might post, but my body just has nothing left.

Obviously I am very disappointed, I am frustrated, but equally this is what I do now and the nature of these expeditions. Part of trying to achieve big ambitions is the uncertainty and hostilities in these environments. I’m a bit more philosophical about these things now. I am confident I can look myself in the mirror when I come home. I did the best I could, I prepared well and I performed well out here.

– Richard Parks