Bear Grylls; Man v Wild

Bear Grylls is known to the world as one of the stars of the Discovery Television Channel where he defies life threatening situations to show that humans can overcome all
04 Dec 2016 11:18
Bear Grylls; Man v Wild
Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls is known to the world as one of the stars of the Discovery Television Channel where he defies life threatening situations to show that humans can overcome all odds to succeed whether it be mental or physical.

His own real life story is no different as this fascinating individual has also overcome great adversity himself to rise to the top of his profession.

Mr Grylls was born in June 1974 in Donaghadee, County Down, Northern Ireland. At the age of four his family moved to the picturesque Isle of Wight. He was a very bright student and during his formative years excelled at his studies, but it was the love for the outdoors he was passionate about. From a young age Mr Grylls would be found rock climbing, sailing and many other outdoor pursuits. As he approached his teenage years he learned to skydive and achieved a second Dan black belt in Karate. If this was not enough he graduated from the University of London with a degree in Hispanic studies. He speaks English, Spanish and French fluently. His deep rooted Christian faith he says is the backbone of his life.

After leaving school, he hiked in the Himalayan mountains of Sikkim and West Bengal. Mr Grylls love for the outdoors never left him and he eventually decided to join the Territorial Army. After passing selection he served as a reservist with the SAS for three years until 1997.

It was in 1996 that tragedy struck this young, fit and determined individual. Mr Grylls suffered a free-fall parachuting accident in Zambia. His canopy ripped at 16,000 ft, partially opening, causing him to fall and land on his parachute pack on his back, which partially crushed three vertebrae. He later said: “I should have cut the main parachute and gone to the reserve but thought there was time to resolve the problem”. According to his surgeon, he came “within a whisker” of being paralysed for life and at first it was questionable whether he would ever walk again. He spent the next 12 months in and out of rehabilitation.

In a showcase of what pure determination and hard work, he achieved his childhood dream of climbing to the summit of Mount Everest, 18 months after breaking his three vertebrae in that parachuting accident. Climbing Mount Everest was always a dream for Bear Grylls and what better way of testing himself than to try and conquer the highest mountain in the world.

On 16th May 1998 at the age of 23 he became the youngest person ever to reach the peak of Everest. This record has subsequently been broken but he is still the youngest Briton to have scaled the mountain.

Since then Bear Grylls has found fame doing what he does best, defying the odds.

Some of his pursuits include riding around the whole of the UK shores on jet Skis, crossing the Atlantic in an inflatable boat, Para motoring over the Himalayas, and in 2008 broke the indoor world record for the longest free fall. These are just some of the amazing feats he continues to do.

Bear Grylls philosophy is live life to the max, which includes working hard and cleansing your body and soul with good thoughts and good deeds. He is married to Shara Cannings Knight and together they have three sons  Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry.

If having one adventurer in the family wasn’t enough now all his children seem to have taken on Bears love for the outdoors in one way or another and together as a family they continue to conquer new horizons.

Edited by Paula Tuvuki

The writer is a Fiji Sun columnist.


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