Meet the 69-Year-Old Double Amputee That Just Climbed Mount Everest

After losing his legs to the ascent more than four decades ago.

There are many incredible stories out there of people defying the odds to climb mountains. There's Sasha DiGiulian, a 25-year-old who's breaking climbing and bouldering records for women everywhere. Then there's Samanyu Pothuraju, a 7-year-old boy who just scaled the Uhuru peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Now, Chinese resident Xia Boyu is making headlines for climbing Mount Everest, an impressive if not entirely newsworthy feat, until you factor in that he's 69 years old—and a double amputee.

Boyu lost his legs to frostbite while climbing Everest back in 1975. Even though the world-famous peak led to the loss of his limbs, he wasn't going to let it win. He's made four previous attempts at scaling the 29,029-foot mountain and failed due to closures and bad weather. But, on Monday morning, he and seven other members of his team finally made it to the top.

The achievement is particularly notable because Nepal only recently revoked a controversial ban that prevented amputee climbers from attempting to scale the mountain.

"Climbing Mount Everest is my dream. I have to realize it. It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate," Boyu told AFP last month.

He is only the second double amputee in history to have made it up there, after New Zealander Mark Inglis, who scaled the peak from China's Tibet side in 2006. And for more high-octane inspiration, check out the 10 Staggering Physical Feats That Will Inspire Your Own Fitness.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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