Way back in November we told you how you could help National Geographic Adventure select their Adventurer of the Year for 2009. The list of contenders featured ten of the most amazing athletes, explorers, and scientists from around the globe, each doing exciting and unusual things in their field. Now, after three months of balloting and more than 20,000 votes, the winner has been announced. Well, make that winners, as once the ballot box was closed, and all the votes were tabulated, two names emerged victorious, with explorer Albert Yu-Min Lin and climber Marc Hoffmeister earning the title of Adventurer of the Year.
The two men share an adventurous spirit and a love of challenges, but aside from that, they couldn’t be more different. Yu-Min is working within Mongolia’s “Forbidden Zone”, located in the northern part of the country, in an attempt to find the long lost tomb of Genghis Kahn, the legendary Mongol warlord who terrorized much of Asia and Europe in the 13th century. Hoffmeister, on the other hand, earned his honors on the steep slopes of 20,320 foot tall Denali in Alaska, where he led a team of soldiers up the treacherous West Buttress Route. Many of the soldiers, including Hoffmeister himself, were injured in the war in Iraq, with some of them even missing limbs.
Both men expressed gratitude and humility after being told that they had won the award, and each of them stressed that they were just one small part of a team that made their individual adventures possible. You can read more about Yu-Min and exploration of the remote regions of Mongolia by clicking here, and his reaction to being told that he won here. Similarly, this story details Hoffmeister’s epic climb up Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and his reaction to winning can be found here.
These awards are handed out in the wake of the announcement last December that National Geographic would cease to publish Adventure as a traditional magazine. The organization promised that we would continue to see the Adventure brand being used in a variety of ways however, including future Adventurer of the Year competitions. After a taking a short hiatus, the Adventure blog has also recently returned to life, with regular updates from the world of adventure travel and outdoor activities.