Today one hundred years have passed since Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his expedition became the first to reach the South Pole. In a speech at the South Pole Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg today honoured Amundsen and his men. He also paid tribute to the bravery of British explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition.
“We are here to celebrate one of the most outstanding achievements of mankind. And we are here to highlight the importance of this cold continent in our efforts to understand the warming of the globe”, Prime Minister Stoltenberg said.
As part of Norway’s Nansen-Amundsen Year 2011, the Prime Minister today led a celebration at the Ceremonial South Pole, which is encircled by the flags of the 12 states that signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959.
It was on 14 December 1911 that Roald Amundsen, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting became the first to reach the South Pole.
“The polar expeditions of Roald Amundsen helped to form our new national identity. And the qualities that enabled Amundsen, Hassel, Bjaaland, Hanssen and Wisting to reach the South Pole, were precisely those that the young nation wanted to be recognised by: courage, determination and endurance”, the Prime Minister said.
“Scott and his team paid the ultimate prize. But their names will forever be inscribed in Polar history. They will always be remembered for their courage and determination in reaching one of the most inhospitable places on earth”, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.
(Foto: Erik Edland/SMK.)