Polar Preet arrives back in UK and says people can 'start from anywhere' in pursuit of dreams

British Army Captain Preet Chandi says she hopes she inspires people to believe they can achieve anything, even when they may be newcomers to a challenge, as she reflects on her record-breaking Antarctic expedition.

‘Polar Preet’, as she is known, covered 922 miles (1,485 km) in 70 days and 16 hours in freezing conditions, surpassing the previous world record of 907 miles (1,459.8 km) set by fellow soldier Henry Worsley, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, in 2015.

Severely adverse conditions stopped Capt Chandi from meeting her own coast-to-coast target – around 100 miles from where she was picked up – but even with her ultimate goal out of reach, she refused to give up and kept pushing to see how far she could go.

Speaking to Forces News as she arrived at London Heathrow Airport, Captain Chandi said: "I think this record hopefully gives me a platform to do what I really want to do, which is, inspire people to push their boundaries and show that we can achieve anything.

"For me, and I know that I did the last journey, I did this one now, but I didn't know anything about Antarctica at all, I genuinely didn't, I didn't know about the explorers, and I think that's really important because, to show people, actually you can start from anywhere.

"You don't need to know anything about whatever it is you want to go into, and you can achieve anything.

Polar Preet reached the South Pole earlier this month (Picture: Preet Chandi).
Polar Preet reached the South Pole earlier this month (Picture: Preet Chandi).

"I think, for me to get something that's endurance-related it suits me very well because, if anything, I think that's probably my forte – I can just keep going. I'm probably not the quickest or the strongest but I will keep going."

Polar Preet had to endure temperatures of -50°C and wind speeds up to 60mph as well as hauling a sledge, weighing around 120kg, loaded with her kit.

Capt Chandi also shared the "amazing" voice notes she had been sent from the voices of "those closest" to her.

This was not her first Antarctic mission, in January last year she became the first woman of colour to reach the South Pole unsupported, which she completed in 40 days, just short of the female world record.

Capt Chandi is a physiotherapist from 3 Medical Regiment working at a Regional Rehabilitation Unit in Buckinghamshire, providing rehabilitation for injured soldiers and officers.

In October, the Princess of Wales became a patron of Polar Preet's Antarctica challenge.

The Prince and Princess of Wales even made sure to wish Capt Chandi good luck before she set off on her expedition.

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