Russia’s world-renowned adventurer, Fyodor Konyukhov now says he plans to break two records during 2017. The intrepid 65-year-old who has climbed Mt. Everest twice and been to the North and South Poles, says he will break the air balloon records for flight duration and altitude records next year.
The man who has come to be associated with the near impossible also believes the world is falling short on the “adventurous spirit” human beings forged nations and discovered miracles with previously. In an interview with TASS recently, the explorer said the 21st century is off to a “disappointing” start. Like many of his generation (me included) Konyukhov figured that by now we would have space stations on Mars, settlements on the Moon, and that the secrets of Earth would have long since been uncovered. On his endeavors next year Konyukhov told TASS:
“In January, we want to set a new air balloon flight duration record. We will fly a balloon from Rybinsk (a town in the Moscow region) around January 15… At the end of the summer, I plan to set a new flight altitude record by flying a balloon 25 kilometers high into the stratosphere.”
Earlier this summer Konyukhov made history when he flew solo around the world in a hot-air balloon, managing the feat in just 11 days and six hours, back in July. According to the official website of Konyukhov, the Russian navigator has also taken an interest in gliding. Perhaps he intends to be the first to break such records as the “free and return distance” mark just won by Max H.S. Leenders of the Netherlands at 1253.20 km. The current record for flight range is about 3,000 km, a mark that circumnavigator Konyukhov may find enticing.
Whatever other extreme adventures Fyodor Konyukhov sets his mind to, it’s clear the spirit in him should compel more of us to reach farther. Konyukhov, who was also ordained as an Eastern Orthodox priest, has also received the Order of Friendship of Peoples (Russian: Орден Дружбы народов). The man who turns 65 today has achieved more in a lifetime than most can imagine. From crossing the Atlantic in a row boat (46 days 4 hours), to a record crossing of Greenland by dog sled, no feat of courage and endurance has phased this fascinating man.