Norway's PM, Scientists Mark 100th Anniversary of South Pole Conquest

World | December 14, 2011, Wednesday // 16:09|  views

Norway`s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg unveils an ice sculpture of polar explorer Roald Amundsen on the South Pole, 14 December 2011. Photo by BGNES

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, accompanied by a group of polar adventurers and scientists, gathered at the South Pole on Wednesday to mark the centenary of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team reaching the frozen continent.

On December 14, 1911, Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole, beating Robert Falcon Scott, a Briton, international news agencies reminded.

Scott and four companions reached the pole more than a month later but died on the way back, falling victim to extreme cold, exhaustion and starvation.

"We are here to celebrate one of the greatest feats in human history," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said during the ceremony.

Stoltenberg became the second head of government to go to the South Pole after New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark's visit in 2007.

In his address to scientists at the U.S Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Norway's Prime Minister also emphasized the the importance of Antarctica with respect to global warming and climate change research.

During the ceremony, Stoltenberg, just like Amundsen, planted a Norwegian flag in the ice, and also unveiled an ice sculpture of his famous compatriot.

"Scott and his team paid the ultimate price... Their names will forever be inscribed in Polar history," he said, hailing "their courage and determination in reaching one of the most inhospitable places on earth."

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Tags: South Pole, Jens Stoltenberg, Norway, Norway Prime Minister


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