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Russia's top explorer calls for dog sled racing to become a Winter Olympics sport

By The Siberian Times reporter
07 April 2013

The world famous traveller made call ahead of his latest epic adventure by dog sled to Greeland via the North Pole.

Dog sled racing is popular in Siberia and the Russian Far East, where the annual - and epic - Beringia race recently finished. Picture: Konyukhov.ru 

'The programme of the Summer Olympic Games features equestrian sport, where these noble animals - horses - along with horsemen compete for medals,' Fedor Konyukhov said.

'While the horse is one of the smartest animals, dogs are the most devoted animals and their participation in the Winter Olympics would only ennoble the Games. I think sled dog racing may win even more popularity than, say, freestyle skiing or curling'.

Speaking in Norway immediately ahead of his latest venture, Mr Konyukhov said: 'Sled dog races are very popular in northern countries. Such events attract thousands of people, even if they have to cover a long distance to see them'.

Dog sled racing is popular in Siberia and the Russian Far East, where the annual - and epic - Beringia race recently finished. 

Beringia 2013


Beringia 2013


Beringia 2013

'While the horse is one of the smartest animals, dogs are the most devoted animals and their participation in the Winter Olympics would only ennoble the Games. I think sled dog racing may win even more popularity than, say, freestyle skiing or curling', Konyukhov said. Pictures: Beringia 2013

Konyukhov and his fellow explorer Viktor Simonov have set off on their own dog sled expedition from Longyearbyen on Norway's Svalbard archipelago, the northernmost piece of land between mainland Europe and the North Pole.

They were then flying to Russia's Barneo station located some 30 kilometres from the North Pole.

Konyukhov, who is a Russian Orthodox Church priest, plans to erect an Orthodox cross at northernmost point on Earth. Siberian or Chukcha Husky dogs will pull the adventurers.

'Ten of them will be harnessed to haul the sled, and two will stay in reserve', Simonov told Itar-Tass.

The two men aim to cross Greeland from north to south in an expedition covering 4,000 km. In the 1970s, legendary Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura tried to accomplish this task for the first time. He made slow progress at the beginning, and faced a polar bear attack and bad weather. 

Aged 61, Konyukhov, once the youngest artist in the Union of Artists of the USSR, has stunning accomplishments as an explorer and adventurer. This will be his fourth visit to the North Pole and in addition he has been to the South Pole, the Pole of Inaccessibility in the Arctic Ocean, and climbed Mount Everest twice. He has sailed round the world four times and was the first Russian to conquer the seven highest summits in the seven continents.

Comments (1)

good idea Fedor
Lukasz , Warsaw
13/04/2013 14:42
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