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Deaf man plans to make North Pole dream come true

January 30, 2007

Published Date: 29 January 2007
Location: Portsmouth http://www.thenews.co.uk/

COURAGEOUS Oliver Westbury is launching an expedition to become the first deaf person to reach the North Pole on foot.

Oliver Westbury

Oliver Westbury


Oliver will trek 70 miles through one of the world’s most hostile landscapes to raise money for deaf children. But before he can start planning the challenge of a lifetime he needs to raise £27,000. The 26-year-old, who was born and raised in Portsmouth, said: ‘I’m nervous and excited, but I don’t want to look too far into the future because I know I need to raise the money first. ‘If I get the money then I’ll really get excited.’ Half of the cash will go towards financing the trip – clothes, equipment, food, training, transport and a helicopter to drop the adventurers off and pick them up. The rest will go directly to the National Deaf Children’s Society. The journey, to take place in April next year, will be on skis towing 40kg sleighs of equipment and supplies. Each day the team will trek for six to eight hours through freezing Arctic conditions with temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees centigrade. A team of 10 plans to undertake the Polar expedition if they can find funds. Mr Westbury, who was diagnosed as having a profound hearing loss when he was 18 months old, said: ‘I am scared. I have to think that I might not come back. And there’s frostbite, thin ice to fall through and all those things to think about.

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Mr Wetbury added: ‘I’m so excited. I have always dreamed of reaching the North Pole.’

Last Updated: 29 January 2007

  1. Tissa Peiris
    January 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    I have met Tommy Zion (Tomihiko Shionoya) is from Japan who I met in Tokyo, Japan. I am amazed to meet him and he told his story of North and South Pole and showed me two photos. He went there 1998 and 2000.He became the first Deaf person to reach there.
    If interesting, you can contact with him,zion@deaf.or.jp.

  2. January 30, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you!
    I am Tomihiko Shionoya and Japanese with Deaf.

    The Japanese with Deaf (hearing impairment) visiting 97 countries in the world.

    I traveled 97 countries after going to HongKong in the first half of 20th for the first time until I traveled in SriLanka in 2006.
    I arrived at geographical South Pole for the first time as deaf of the world in 29th Nov.1999.
    And I arrived at geographical North Pole for the first time as disabled of the world in 19th Aug.2005.
    I arrived at both South and North Pole for the first time as disabled (the physically challenged) of the world.
    It’s easy to communicate with foreigner for deaf more then hearing people because they get used to gestures (body language).
    I write some detailed things in English.
    The following is the top five things I would recommend when people with Deaf (hearing impaiment) will travel:


  3. Tissa Peiris
    January 30, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Oh..Tommy, I am sorry for mistaking error of years. Anyway, I like how you describe yourself. Suggest that you can do yourself in your own blog with some photos Deaf world want to see !

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