News – International Judo Federation
Those three little words, "She did it!" are enough to sum up the feat that Sabrina Filzmoser and her expedition 'Forever Everest' have just achieved. Starting from sea level in India on 4th March by bike and then hiking through Nepal, she has just reached the summit of Mount Everest, barely one day ago, after a grueling but perfectly carried out ascent.
We've been looking forward to the good news for a few days, which felt slow in coming. It must be said that the last hours were stressful because Sabrina's tracking system no longer worked, so we could not know exactly where she was. One of her last messages before the climb was very welcome and full of positivity and energy, “All OK at camp 4, all fine, please don't worry.” It was sent somewhere not far from camp 4, which appeased our growing concern.
The mountains are a majestic and incredibly beautiful universe, but also places where danger is constant, especially at such altitudes. Sabrina told us recently, "It's hard to imagine what it's like. The roar of avalanches, falling seracs, the omnipresent wind, the cold and the snow. All of this reminds you that the mountain is a hostile environment in which we human beings are only guests. You have to be very humble here."
Humility, alongside resilience, is what Sabrina has shown throughout her journey. If many of us were convinced that she could do it, she still had to do it, to push the pedals for 1000km and then, one step after another, to reach 8849m. The pitfalls were many. Juggling the organisation of the expedition itself, which Sabrina has been working on for many years, while she was leading her sporting career up to the Tokyo Games last year, the preparation for her departure, the arrival in India and the inherent logistical and administrative problems and then finally the sporting achievement itself; the road was long, sometimes painful, but fantastically exhilarating.
She said, "I'm back at EBC. I have just lived through the most difficult days of my life, with such complicated decisions to be made. It’s a loooooooooong and more than difficult way from camp 4 up to the summit but I did it! I sat on the top of the world, on Mount Everest, together with my judo belt and my little mascot, which proved to be more than courageous and which were the symbols of our judo values that can travel the world. I promised my mother I would bring back all my fingers, toes and a little bit of brain and even if I'm exhausted like I was never before, I can say, “mission accomplished!” Some weeks ago I started at sea level to eventually reach Everest on 16th May. There are so many different emotions going through my mind right now. It will take time to digest everything but what an adventure! I will never ever be able to thank all the people enough, who helped me, supported me, accompanied me throughout this. I had a dream and today I live my dream."
Beyond the physical performance on which we focus now and the almost three months of expedition, the key words of this adventure were passion, open-mindedness, dedication, commitment and of course that list could lengthen indefinitely, as the values conveyed by Sabrina were numerous. Indeed, if the ascent of Everest was a stated objective from the beginning, it was the whole path travelled, physically, mentally and morally that mattered.
Along the way, Sabrina put on her judogi several times to practise judo with young children. She helped raise awareness of the importance of preserving our environment. She also delivered a crucial message of peace in this time of global geopolitical instability.
In a few days, a delegation from the IJF will go to meet her, so that she can tell us in detail what she experienced. Until then, we wish her to rest after all her efforts. We wish her to be able to enjoy every moment in these mountains that she loves so much, a place she made us love too. We congratulate her again and again. We can't wait to listen to her so that she continues to amaze us with her perspective on the beauty of our planet, while making us aware of the dangers that await it.
Bravo Sabrina! You inspired us and millions of people around the world and Forever Everest is all about inspiring people.
Cutesy: International Judo Federation
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