Lincoln alum completes “impossible first”

Colin O’Brady graduated Lincoln High School in 2002. In 2018, he became the first person ever to traverse Antarctica alone. He completed the journey two days after Christmas, having walked the last 77.54 miles in one, 32-hour trek.

O’Brady was born in Olympia, Washington but was raised in Portland, Oregon. According to his website, he was “an active kid who excelled at sports, competing in both swimming and soccer.” By his high school years, he was ranked nationally in both sports. After  graduating from Lincoln, he went on to swim at Yale University, and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelors in Economics.

Before his journey across the Antarctic, O’Brady took a year-long backpacking trip around the world. During the trip, he got into an accident that left him with third-degree burns on nearly 25 percent of his body, causing doctors to tell him he might never walk properly again.

Instead of accepting defeat, O’Brady focused on recovery, and went on to complete a triathlon just 18 months later. Now, not only is O’Brady a professional endurance athlete, motivational speaker, and three-time world record holder, he is also the first person to travel unaided from one side of the Antarctic to the other.

He skied the entire 932 mile journey, all the while pulling a 300-pound sled. O’Brady calls the achievement “The Impossible First.” According to National Geographic, O’Brady has frequently said “We all have reservoirs of untapped potential.”

Brady did not respond to requests for comment.


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