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National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year



As mankind pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, National Geographic continues to recognize the individuals at the forefront of adventure.

On Nov. 1, voting opened for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year, an annual accolade voted on by the public and awarded to the Adrenalist who, over the past 365 days, made us reconsider the realm of human possibility the most. This year, 10 athletes are up for the award, which will be announced Feb. 13. Headlining the list is Felix Baumgartner, the skydiver who jumped from the edge of space, breaking the sound barrier as he fell to earth in a stunt that easily could have torn his body to shreds. If you missed the story, read our Felix Baumgartner’s Space Jump feature.

Other familiar names include Josh Dueck, the paraplegic skier who landed the first backflip on a sit ski in February, and snowboarder Jeremy Jones, the backcountry titan who’s latest film, Further, saw him venture deeper into inhospitable powder than anyone before him.

Lesser known nominees include filmmaker and climber, Renan Ozturk, who captured a first ascent of Shark’s Fin on Meru in the Indian Himalaya in his film, Meru, and 22-year-old Austrian David Lama, who appeared in our Next Generation of Climbers feature for his free-climb to the top of Cerro Torre in Patagonia.

A pair of women also made the list this year, including ultrarunner, Lizzy Hawker, who set the women’s distance record for a continuous 24-hour run (153.5 miles) in 2011, and humanitarian and mountainbiker, Shannon Galpin, who risked suicide bombs and assassination attempts to bring the art of photography to the people of Afghanistan. Also making the list is explorer Mike Libecki, who in 2012 snowboarded Taliban controlled mountains in Afghanistan and completed a first ascent of a 2,000-foot spire in Borneo.

Legendary kayaker Steve Fisher is also nominated. In October 2011, Fisher led a team down the man-eating Inga Rapids on the Congo. It was the first successful descent of what many call the largest rapids in the world.

Finally, closing out the list of nominees, we have surfer, Ramon Navarro, who rode one of the most perfect waves of all-time in June 2012.

Read more about the Adventurers of the Year on National Geographic. Voting ends Jan. 16, 2013.

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