Omar Di Felice faced his most extreme test ever: he had to say ENOUGH just when everyone had their eyes on him, when the media pressure was so high that he felt he was in a crowded room even though he was the only human presence for hundreds of kilometers in the middle of Antarctica.
His Antarctica Unlimited lasted only 8 days, but in reality it is not over yet because Omar will return to that white expanse, accompanied by his bicycle and his inseparable Miss Grape - which this time were really ready to resist the most extreme cold, perhaps the toughest challenge our bags have ever faced. But that will be for another time, because Omar will return to Antarctica, that's for sure. Above all he will return aware of having passed the hardest test, the one that forced him to choose between the public figure and the man.
Miss Grape couldn't be happier to be at Omar's side at this moment, because he made the choice that most represents our philosophy: he chose to put himself before work, sponsors and social media. Stay Human.
“I am a normal person who, like everyone else, suffers and in that universe called life has to face the pain of seriously ill family members, of childhood traumas to resolve, of problems that are often mistakenly thought not to concern those who have the courage to pursue the own dreams through extraordinary lives. The choice I made, of courage and pain at the same time, was the only one possible in this condition in order not to fail in that pact of trust with life. Stopping for a moment before risking completely losing clarity was the most painful step but the only one possible ”.
ANTARCTICA UNLIMITED: BEYOND SPORT, AN EXTREME CRY AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
Omar had raised the bar of extremes once again. Antartica Unlimited plans to make the longest crossing of Antarctica ever by bicycle.
The goal is to do the “coast to coast” journey starting from Hercules Inlet and passing through the South Pole to reach the base of Leverett Glacier.
The route includes a first part of over 1,200 km to reach the South Pole, a feat no one has ever fully achieved exclusively on a bicycle. In the second part Omar heads towards the base of the Leverett Glacier for a further 600 km with the aim of completing the coast to coast crossing. Finally, the idea was to travel backwards towards the South Pole for a total of 2,400 km.
“ I started dreaming of Antarctica and the South Pole when I was still a child – says Omar – Reading about Ernest Shackleton's feat and watching the great documentaries that told his story, I began to develop ambition within myself of being able to place the wheels of my bicycle on the soil of Antarctica one day. Since that day, almost thirty years ago now, I have worked hard to make this happen. At first that dream, which seemed impossible, fueled my daily search for the limit, until it began to materialize a few years ago when I began to really study the feasibility of this undertaking which will be my greatest exploration, as well as one of the most ambitious ever. try riding a bicycle in the history of adventure cycling. Antarctica is the place where the man Omar will meet again the child with whom he hopes, hand in hand, to cross the finish line of his greatest dream ."
“Antarctica Unlimited” is not only an extreme sporting event, but also a cry of alarm towards the climate crisis. Antarctica is tangible and visible evidence of climate change as well as the most delicate and fragile place in the world.
Precisely for this reason Antartica Unlimited is a long-term project that has brought Omar back to working on books.
“It is the biggest and most ambitious project of my life. I decided to return to university by enrolling in the degree course in Environmental Sciences which will serve to accompany my training process so that the dissemination activity is as precise and timely as possible. Antarctica has absorbed every centimeter of me, not only the attempt to cross the most remote and fascinating continent on Earth, but also an in-depth study together with scientists and experts, as well as associations and private individuals who carry out research and studies in those remote lands. Antarctica Unlimited wants to be the crowning moment of my life and career ”.
Among the partners of the project there is also ESA, the European Space Agency, whose presence in Antarctica is fundamental in the study of climate change, as well as for the training of astronauts for space missions.
JUST AN INTERRUPTION, NOT AN ABANDONMENT
Omar chose to be human, he chose to say enough despite all this, and we at Miss Grape couldn't share his choice more, also because we know that this is certainly not a goodbye to Antarctica and Antartica Unlimited, but only a little "break".
Omar himself said it: “ I will return to Antarctica much sooner than anyone can imagine. I owe it to myself, to you and to all the people who believe in this project ”.