South African Mike Horn, is acknowledged as one of the worlds greatest modern adventurer-explorers. He has undertaken exceptional feats of endurance, determination and courage which have extended the boundaries of human achievement.
Born in Johannesburg, he studied Human Movement Science at Stellenbosch University before moving to Switzerland where he became an instructor for an outdoor company offering extreme activities such as abseiling, hydrospeed, canyoning and rafting. There he developed a taste for outlandish challenges and descended on hydrospeed the Mont Blanc glacier finishing at the French Riviera and afterwards completed the 6 month traverse of South America, swimming down the entire length of the Amazon River finishing at the Pacific Ocean.
Horn became a worldwide personality in 2000 after completing a solo journey around the equator without motor transport. This feat won him the 2001 Laureus World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year Award.
He left Gabon on June 2, 1999 and crossed the Atlantic Ocean by trimaran. He travelled from Brazil to Ecuador by foot, bicycle and canoe, traversing the Amazon jungle and the Andes. Crossing the Pacific Ocean took him to Indonesia, via the Galapagos Islands. Journeying through the Borneo and Sumatra jungles by foot and sailboat, he then continued by trimaran across the Indian Ocean. The last leg took him across the African continent to Gabon, where he arrived at his starting point on October 28, 2000, 18 months later.
Horn achieved yet another staggering feat of human endurance in October 2004 when he completed a two-year 3 month solo circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle - by boat, kayak, ski kite and on foot. Starting and finishing at Nordkapp (North Cape) in Norway, he became the first man to travel the Arctic Circle without motorised transport, completing an unimaginable 20,000km journey through Greenland, Canada, Alaska, the Bering Strait and Russia's Siberia, pulling a kevlar sledge piled with 180kg of equipment and food. This Arctic adventure earned him nomination for the 2005 Laureus World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year Award.
In 2006, Horn and Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland, became the first men to travel without dog or motorised transport to the North Pole during the permanent darkness of the Arctic months, reaching their goal on March 23, 2006 after 60 days and 5 hours. The men started from Cape Artichesky in Russia, using skis, pulling sleds and swimming frequently in the freezing Arctic Ocean.
Mike Horn was elected a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy in January 2007 in recognition of his ground-breaking achievements which reflect great triumph of the human spirit against daunting odds.