Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Swimming on Top of the World: Lewis Gordon Pugh shares his endurance swimming stories.

Lewis Gordon Pugh is an environmental campaigner, a maritime lawyer and an endurance swimmer. He always wanted to be a pioneer swimmer and was the first person to complete a long distance swim in every ocean of the world. Much of his inspiration has come from explorers such as Roald Amundsen, Robert Scott and Edmund Hillary.  Through his swims he has gained a unique perspective on climate change.  By swimming in vulnerable ecosystems he wants to draw attention to their plight.  He has given up everything to dedicate his life to this purpose.

Now, he’ll join audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow on January 23rd to discuss
undertaking the first long distance swim across the North Pole in 2007, how did he prepare himself? And why did he carry on, when everything went so badly wrong? 

Lewis Gordon Pugh.
Lewis Gordon Pugh braved icy waters to highlight climate change.
This talk is part of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society’s Inspiring People talks programme.

He undertook this death defying swim to highlight the melting of the Arctic sea ice, he also swam across a glacial lake under the summit of Mount Everest in 2010 to draw attention to the melting glaciers in the Himalayas, and the impact the reduced water supply will have on world peace.

In 2010 he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for his "potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world through inspiring leadership."

Discussing his swims Lewis has said “I am often asked why I do it. At a simplistic level, I am passionate about swimming and I enjoy pushing boundaries. But there's a lot more to it than that. Through my swims I have had a unique perspective on climate change. I have witnessed retreating glaciers, decreasing sea ice, coral bleaching, severe droughts, and the migration of animals to colder climates. It's as a result of these experiences that I am determined to draw attention to the fragility of our environment and to encourage everyone to take action.”

Lewis Gordon Pugh.
Lewis Gordon Pugh prepares to dive into Arctic waters.
Not always in his swimming trunks, Lewis studied law at the University of Cape Town and the University of Cambridge, and then went on to work as a maritime lawyer in London. He now spends my time public speaking and campaigning to world leaders to protect the environment.

Lewis’s talk will take place on Wednesday 23rd January:

Edinburgh: Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9LE at 2:15pm

Glasgow: Boyd Orr Building, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ at 7:30pm. 

£8 for adults, (redeemable if buying membership) and free students, under 18s and for RSGS members. Tickets are available on the day from the venue. For more information about any of our talks this season please visit www.rsgs.org/events/